CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago must hire 111 African American firefighter candidates passed over for jobs and pay millions of dollars in damages to thousands more.

The ruling handed down Friday by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals follows last year’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that the African Americans who took a 1995 firefighters’ entrance exam didn’t wait too long to sue.

An attorney for the candidates says the ruling means that 111 firefighters will be hired from the list of 6,000 African Americans who passed the test. The lawyer says the others will share in the back pay that 111 firefighters would have earned had they been hired when they passed the test.

Attorney Joshua Karsh says the group will share “tens of millions of dollars.”

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.