nyc-fd*(Via CNN) – New York City agreed in a settlement Tuesday to pay $98 million in back pay and benefits to entry-level firefighters who claim the New York Fire Department used a biased entrance exam that kept African-American and Latinos off the job.

The Justice Department sued the city in May 2007, alleging the exams — first administered in 1999 — both discriminated against minority candidates and didn’t properly determine who was qualified for the positions.

A U.S. district judge ordered the city to pay $128 million and to hire 293 black and Latino applicants, provided they pass all of the tests in the hiring process.

The first groups of these candidates joined the fire department in July 2013 and January, with an additional group expected to join in July.

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