WASHINGTON -- Trucking company YRC Worldwide Inc. will pay $11 million to settle charges of race discrimination at its former facility in Chicago Ridge, Ill.

A federal judge in Chicago has granted preliminary approval to a consent decree between the company and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The EEOC accused a company subsidiary of subjecting black employees to a racially hostile work environment, including displays of hangman's nooses and racist graffiti. The settlement will go to as many as 324 employees who were part of two class-action cases.

YRC officials denied the charges and said isolated instances of misconduct did not reflect the real working environment. Spokeswoman Kelly Walls says the company headquartered in Overland Park, Kan., has not admitted any wrongdoing and settled the cases to avoid further legal costs.