MINNEAPOLIS — Target Corp. has agreed to pay $2.8 million to settle a hiring discrimination claim filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the federal agency announced Monday.

Three employment assessments formerly used by the Minneapolis-based retailer disproportionately screened out applicants for professional positions based on race and gender, and the tests were not sufficiently job-related, the EEOC said in a statement. The commission also said an assessment that was performed by psychologists violated the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits employers from subjecting applicants to medical exams prior to making a job offer.

Thousands of people were adversely affected and the settlement money will be divided among them, the EEOC said.

Target agreed to take several steps to ensure the validity of its hiring process, including keeping better data for assessing the impact of its hiring procedures.

The number of people covered by the settlement is "in the four-figure range" out of tens of millions of applicants who applied for positions with Target over the past decade, Target spokeswoman Molly Snyder said in an email. She also said the EEOC did not find any disparities in Target's actual hiring, just potential adverse impacts.

Target is no longer using those tests and it is no longer working with the vendor that performed the psychological assessments, she said.

"We continue to firmly believe that no improper behavior occurred regarding these assessments," Snyder said, but added that Target agreed to settle to save the costs of litigation.