- Helados La Tapatia, Inc. violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by failing to hire non-Hispanic applicants for entry-level positions because of their race or national origin, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) alleged in a lawsuit against the producer of Mexican-style deserts.
- The California-based company "favored less-qualified Hispanic job applicants over all other applicants of a different race or national origin," the agency said in a statement.
- EEOC alleged the company also "discouraged and deterred non-Hispanic applicants from applying."
Title VII forbids discrimination in employment on the basis of race and national origin, among other protected characteristics. Specifically, the federal law makes it illegal for an employer or other covered entity to use an employment policy or practice "if it has a negative impact on people of a certain national origin and is not job-related or necessary to the operation of the business," according to EEOC guidance.
Employers have paid high prices to settle charges of national origin and race discrimination. In a case with similar accusations, Marquez Brothers International agreed to pay $2 million to settle an EEOC suit alleging it refused to hire non-Hispanic applicants for unskilled production and warehouse positions and that several of its affiliates discouraged non-Hispanic applicants from applying for the jobs by imposing, among other things, an unnecessary language requirement.
HR often is tasked with ensuring employment decisions are not based on protected characteristics such as sex, age, race and national origin. Compliance training for managers and supervisors on the requirements of the applicable local, state and federal anti-discrimination laws can aid in preventing employers from having to deal with allegations of bias and discrimination.
Additionally, the commission noted in the statement announcing the recent lawsuit that "eliminating barriers in recruitment and hiring, especially class-based recruitment and hiring practices that discriminate against racial, ethnic and religious groups, older workers, women, and people with disabilities, is one of six national priorities identified by the Commission's Strategic Enforcement Plan."