Norfolk Southern NS LogoNORFOLK, Va. (AP) _ Norfolk Southern Corp. will pay nearly $500,000 to more than 2,000 African-Americans to settle allegations of race-based hiring discrimination.

The U.S. Department of Labor announced Tuesday that Norfolk Southern will pay 2,086 African-Americans who applied for track laborer and building-and-bridge laborer positions at the company’s Roanoke, Virginia, location.

The Labor Department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs had found that the company failed to provide equal-employment opportunities and engaged in discriminatory hiring practices against African-American applicants from Jan. 1, 2010, through Dec. 31, 2011.

Norfolk Southern agreed to pay $492,000 in back pay and interest to the applicants. The company also agreed to change employment practices and will offer jobs to seven applicants who were turned down for some positions.