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Black Hills businesses ordered to pay back wages

RAPID CITY (AP) -- Six businesses in western South Dakota's Black Hills have been ordered to pay almost $300,000 in fines and back wages to foreign workers for violating the terms of a special visa program.

The companies hired more than 360 temporary workers through a Sturgis agency that is now out of business. The federal Labor Department says the workers were required to pay expenses that they shouldn't have had to pay.

The Labor Department's investigation covered two years, from July 2009 until July 2011.

Some businesses say they've already paid the fines and they won't use the special visa program any more.

A Mount Rushmore concessions operator says the program requires the business to pay a foreign worker's transportation costs to come to America, and he says that gets too expensive.

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