Manufacturing giant Caterpillar has been accused of discriminating against African-Americans at its Aurora facility, outside Chicago, where about 2,800 people are employed.
In a lawsuit, five people said Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT) allowed a racially hostile and discriminatory workplace in Aurora, describing an environment in which the company did little to prevent discrimination or respond to complaints about it, according to a report by the Chicago Sun-Times.
Specifically, one of the plaintiffs described being passed over for jobs he was well-qualified to do in favor of other workers whom he suspected did not meet the posted minimum qualifications, the report said. Another was cited by the Sun-Times saying his supervisor made multiple racist and threatening comments.
It’s not yet clear what damages the five are seeking, but the Peoria Journal Star noted that they have each claimed to have lost wages and suffered emotional harm.
Both reports included Peoria-based Caterpillar’s response, which stated in part, “Caterpillar fosters an inclusive environment and treats people fairly and with respect. This is central to our core values.”