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Feds: NC's Biltmore Estate Violated Labor Laws

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ASHEVILLE -- Federal authorities have fined the Biltmore Estate 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 estate and mansion usually employees some 2,400 workers, depending on the season, and draws more than a million visitors a year.