Caterpillar fined $800K over racial hiring discrimination

Caterpillar fined $800K over racial hiring discrimination

May 21, 2024
The company discriminated against 60 Black applicants who applied for fabrication specialist/welder positions at its Decatur, Illinois, facility.

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has reached an agreement with Caterpillar Inc. to resolve allegations of hiring discrimination. A compliance review conducted by the DOL’s Office of the Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) found that the company, which manufactures heavy equipment, had discriminated against 60 Black applicants who applied for fabrication specialist/welder positions at its Decatur, Illinois, facility. This discrimination occurred from March 30, 2018, to March 30, 2020. Under Executive Order 11246, which is enforced by OFCCP, federal contractors can not discriminate against employees based on race, sex, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or national origin.

As part of the agreement, Caterpillar must pay $800,000 in back wages and interest to affected job applicants, as well as offer jobs to 34 eligible class members. To prevent this from happening in the future, Caterpillar will also make sure its hiring policies and procedures are free from discrimination and ensure its managers, supervisors, and other company officials are given proper training. 

What people are saying

In a recent quote, Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs Acting Director Michele Hodge said, “Over the past 58 years, OFCCP has helped define and defend equal employment opportunity in the American workplace. We are committed to tackling employment policies and practices that create barriers to opportunity and perpetuate inequality. Companies that accept federal contracts must monitor their hiring processes to ensure applicants are not rejected based on unlawful practices.”

Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs Regional Director Carmen Navarro added, “Our agreement with Caterpillar exemplifies the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs’ commitment to addressing and remedying preliminary indicators of discrimination in our compliance evaluations. “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.”

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About the Author

Alexis Gajewski | Senior Content Strategist

Alexis Gajewski has over 15 years of experience in the maintenance, reliability, operations, and manufacturing space. She joined Plant Services in 2008 and works to bring readers the news, insight, and information they need to make the right decisions for their plants. Alexis also authors “The Lighter Side of Manufacturing,” a blog that highlights the fun and innovative advances in the industrial sector. 

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