The head of the Kroger Co. said this week that the grocery chain has agreed to pay $16 million to settle a racial discrimination and harassment lawsuit.

The lawsuit claimed Kroger blocks the promotions of black employees and pays them less than white workers. The complaint was filed in 2001 in U.S. District Court in Louisville, Ky., on behalf of 12 black workers in six states.

Chairman and Chief Executive David Dillon said Tuesday that the money will be disbursed among black employees who meet certain criteria. The memo says there was no finding that the Cincinnati-based Kroger engaged in discrimination.