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The Labor Department announced Wednesday that Whirlpool Corp. has agreed to pay $850,000 to settle claims of hiring discrimination involving 800 black job applicants. The consent decree settles the department’s allegations that the company engaged in hiring discrimination from March 1997 to February 1998 at a Tulsa, Okla., manufacturing plant. The company admitted no wrongdoing. In addition to the payment, Whirlpool will hire 48 of the rejected applicants, the department said. The jobseekers were applying for entry-level assembler positions at the Tulsa plant. Whirlpool, a maker of home appliances, has contracts with the federal government, the department said. The allegations emerged from an evaluation by the department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs. As part of the company’s screening process, it administered a test that “disproportionately eliminated African-American applicants from job consideration,” the department said. Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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