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Norfolk Southern Corp. has agreed to pay $492,000 in back pay and interest to 2,086 African-Americans who allegedly were denied equal employment opportunities at the railroad in a conciliation agreement with the U.S. Department of Labor's office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs.
The Department of Labor said in a statement Tuesday that a unit of Norfolk, Virginia-based federal contractor Norfolk Southern, Maintenance of Way #34, had engaged in hiring practices that discriminated against African-American applicants who applied for track laborer and building and bridge laborer positions at the railway’s Roanoke, Virginia, facility from Jan. 1, 2010, through Dec. 31, 2011.
The DOL said the company’s actions violated Executive Order 11246, which prohibits federal contractors from discriminating in employment based on race or color in their employment practices. During its scheduled compliance evaluation, OFCCP found that Maintenance of Way #34 engaged in hiring practices that discriminated against African-American applicants, according to the statement.
Under terms of the agreement, in addition to paying the $492,000, Northern Suffolk, which has not admitted liability, will also make job offers to seven of the nonselected applicants, among other terms.
“Workers should never be denied a fair shot at employment because of factors that have absolutely nothing to do with their ability to effectively perform the job,” said OFCCP Director Patricia A. Shiu, in a statement. “This case highlights our commitment to combating discrimination that gets in the way of equal employment opportunities for qualified workers.”
A Norfolk Southern spokeswoman had no comment.
Excluding farm and ranch laborers from New Mexico's workers compensation system is unconstitutional, the state Supreme Court has ruled.