Wal-Mart Stores Inc. agreed to pay $11.7 million in back wages and damages as well as hire more female applicants for warehouse jobs to settle a sex discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Wal-Mart’s London, Ky., distribution center denied jobs to qualified female applicants from 1998 through February 2005, and regularly hired male entry-level applicants for warehouse positions, the EEOC said. Executives with hiring authority told applicants that order-filling positions were not suitable for women, and that they hired mainly 18- to 25-year-old men, the EEOC said. Excluding women from employment or excluding them from certain positions because of gender violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.