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Howard Industries settles post-raid discrimination lawsuit

LAUREL — Federal court records show a Mississippi company that was the target of the largest U.S. workplace raid on illegal immigrants has settled a discrimination lawsuit by four black women who claimed the company gave preferential treatment to Latinos.

A tentative settlement was announced in February. Details were released in court documents filed this past week.

U.S. District Court records show Howard Industries will pay $1.3 million into a settlement fund to be paid to possibly as many as 5,000 non-Hispanic individuals who applied for jobs at the company between March 2003 and Aug. 28, 2008.

Also, within nine months after the settlement, the company will hire at least 70 of the individuals who had applied for jobs.

Immigration agents detained nearly 600 illegal immigrants in the 2008 raid.

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