Caterpillar to pay $800K to job applicants who were racially discriminated against in Decatur

Caterpillar Inc., will pay $800,000 to resolve allegations of systemic hiring discrimination against dozens of Black applicants at its Decatur, Illinois production facility. 

The settlement comes after a compliance review by the U.S. Department of Labor found discriminatory hiring practices affecting 60 Black applicants for fabrication specialist and welder positions between March 30, 2018, and March 30, 2020.

Under the agreement, Caterpillar Inc. will pay $800,000 in back wages and interest to the affected applicants and will offer employment to 34 eligible class members. The company has also committed to revising its hiring policies and providing comprehensive anti-discrimination training to managers and supervisors involved in hiring decisions.

"We are committed to tackling employment policies and practices that create barriers to opportunity and perpetuate inequality," said Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs Acting Director Michele Hodge. "Companies that accept federal contracts must monitor their hiring processes to ensure applicants are not rejected based on unlawful practices." 

Caterpillar, one of the world’s biggest producers of heavy machinery, has contracts to produce machinery for the U.S. Army. The company has held nearly $500 million in federal contracts since 2018.

Anyone who thinks they may have been racially discriminated against while applying for a fabrication specialist/welder position with Caterpillar Inc. at its Decatur facility during the two-year period, is encouraged to visit the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs website.