Feds: Biltmore Estate violated labor laws

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ASHVILLE, N.C. (AP) Federal authorities have fined the Biltmore Estate in North Carolina for hiring a non-United States citizen over a qualified applicant from the U.S.

The Ashville Citizen Times reported Thursday that the estate that owns the massive, gilded-age mansion in western North Carolina violated federal labor laws.

The U.S. Department of Labor said Biltmore paid nearly $7,000 in back wages to an applicant for a cook position. The estate also spent more than $24,000 on a civil penalty.

Estate spokeswoman LeeAnn Donnelly said the hiring decision was the result of a "miscommunication" and that Biltmore "did not fully understand" the local applicant's desire for the entry-level cook position.

The 8,000-acre (3,200-hectare) estate and mansion usually employees some 2,400 workers, depending on the season, and draws more than a million visitors a year.

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Information from: The Asheville Citizen-Times, http://www.citizen-times.com

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