$800K Hiring Discrimination Settlement with Caterpillar Inc.

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The U.S. Department of Labor has entered into a conciliation agreement with Caterpillar Inc. to resolve alleged systemic hiring discrimination against 60 Black applicants at a heavy equipment manufacturer’s production facility in Decatur, Illinois.

Caterpillar Inc. will pay affected job applicants $800,000 in back wages and interest and offer jobs to 34 eligible class members to resolve the allegations. In a proactive step towards change, the company has also agreed to ensure its hiring policies and procedures are free from discrimination and provide training to all managers, supervisors, and other company officials who oversee hiring decisions.

A routine compliance review by the department’s Office of the Federal Contract Compliance Programs found that Caterpillar discriminated against 60 Black applicants who applied for fabrication specialist/welder positions at its Decatur facility from March 30, 2018, to March 30, 2020. OFCCP enforces Executive Order 11246, which prohibits federal contractors from discriminating in employment based on race, sex, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, or national origin.

“For the past 58 years, OFCCP has been at the forefront of defining and defending equal employment opportunity in the American workplace. We remain steadfast in our commitment to addressing employment policies and practices that create barriers to opportunity and perpetuate inequality,” reassured Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs Acting Director Michele Hodge. “Companies that accept federal contracts must diligently monitor their hiring processes to ensure applicants are not rejected based on unlawful practices.”

“Our agreement with Caterpillar exemplifies the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs’ (OFCCP) commitment to addressing and remedying preliminary indicators of discrimination in our compliance evaluations. As the enforcer of Executive Order 11246, OFCCP ensures that federal contractors like Caterpillar uphold equal employment opportunity. This agreement provides meaningful compensation and job opportunities to affected individuals and aims to ensure that all applicants, irrespective of their race, are considered equally for employment.”

Caterpillar Inc. has contracts to provide machinery to the U.S. Department of the Army, and since 2018, Caterpillar Inc. has held more than $481 million in federal contracts.

OFCCP has introduced the Class Member Locator, a powerful tool to identify applicants or workers who may be entitled to monetary relief and/or consideration for job placement as a result of OFCCP’s compliance evaluations and complaint investigations. If you believe you may be a class member who applied for a fabrication specialist/welder position with Caterpillar Inc. at its Decatur facility during the investigative period, we encourage you to use OFCCP’s Class Member Locator to learn more about this and other settlements.