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Norfolk Southern to pay thousands in discrimination settlement

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Posted at 7:04 AM, Jul 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-06 07:12:01-04

Roanoke, Va – A division of federal contractor, Norfolk Southern, has agreed to pay nearly $500,000 to 2,086 African-Americans as part of a settlement with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), according to a press release from the Department of Labor.

Maintenance of Way #34 is the business unit in Norfolk Southern’s engineering department, and agreed to the settlement after OFCCP found the company did not provide equal employment opportunities to African-Americans who applied for Track Laborer and Building and Bridge Laborer positions at Norfolk Southern’s Roanoke facility.

OFCCP determined the hiring discrimination took place between January 1, 2010 and December 31, 2011 during a scheduled compliance evaluation.

“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 Shiu. “This case highlights our commitment to combating discrimination that gets in the way of equal employment opportunities for qualified workers.

Although Norfolk Southern has not admitted liability, under the agreement, it will pay $492,000 in back pay and interest to the African-American applicants. Norfolk Southern will also give job offers to seven of the applicants who were not selected. The company has also agreed to discontinue use of the selection procedures in question for the two positions, and to review and modify its employment practices.

Norfolk Southern is one of the nation’s oldest transportation companies, and operates approximately 20,000 route miles in 22 states and the District of Columbia. It is a major transporter of coal, automotive and industrial products. Its Maintenance of Way #34 business unit is responsible for maintenance of the Virginia rail tracks throughout the state, including highways, roads, streets and other management and consulting services.

OFCCP has launched the Class Member Locator to find other applicants who feel they may be entitled to a portion of the settlement.

Click here for more information on the Class Member Locator.