News Release

Caterpillar to pay $800K to resolve racial hiring discrimination at Decatur, Illinois, facility alleged in federal compliance review

Federal investigation found Black applicants not hired based on race

DECATUR, IL – 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 one of the heavy equipment manufacturer’s production facilities in Decatur, Illinois.

To resolve the allegations, Caterpillar Inc. will pay $800,000 in back wages and interest to affected job applicants and offer jobs to 34 eligible class members. The company 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. 

During 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. 

“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,” 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.” 

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,” said Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs Regional Director Carmen Navarro in Chicago. “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 launched the Class Member Locator 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 think 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, please use OFCCP’s Class Member Locator to learn more about this and other settlements.

In addition to Executive Order 11246, OFCCP enforces Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974. Together, these laws prohibit employment discrimination.

Learn more about OFCCP.

Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs
May 21, 2024
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Media Contact: Scott Allen
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Media Contact: Rhonda Burke
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