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NC company reaches settlement in firing case

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SALISBURY, N.C. (AP) - A North Carolina company has agreed to pay back wages and a federal fine after firing three American citizens mistaken for undocumented workers.

The U.S. Justice Department announced Friday it had reached a settlement with Salisbury-based heating and cooling contractor Gamewell Mechanical Inc., which is a subsidiary of Woodfin Heating Inc. Federal officials had cited the company with violating the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

After learning there were six undocumented employees among its workforce, Gamewell managers in February fired three citizens they incorrectly assumed were also in the country illegally.

Under the settlement agreement, Gamewell will pay $10,560 in back wages to those fired and $9,600 in federal penalties. The company will also be subject to compliance monitoring by federal officials for 18 months.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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