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Caterpillar to pay $800,000 to resolve racial discrimination case, says Labor Dept

FILE PHOTO: The company logo for Caterpillar Inc. is displayed on a screen at the NYSE in New York

(Reuters) - Heavy equipment company Caterpillar has agreed to pay $800,000 to resolve allegations of systemic hiring discrimination against Black applicants at an Illinois plant, the U.S. Labor Department said on Tuesday.

The money will cover back wages and interest to affected job applicants, and Caterpillar will offer jobs to 34 people the department deems are eligible to apply, the agency said in a statement.

"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," it said.

The case involved 60 Black people who applied for fabrication positions at the company's Decatur facility from March 30, 2018 to March 30, 2020.

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

(Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Richard Chang)