QUENTINSBURGH- The Freedemian Department of Labor has launched a large scale investigation into working conditions and pay for workers at rice farms and nickel and aluminum mines in Freedemia.
Secretary of Labor Andrew McCrory explained at a press conference that they don’t currently believe issues are widespread. Working conditions are checked at each farm and mine semiannually by the Department of Labor, and more frequently by independent contractors that report back to the federal government as well. However, a most recent report by an independent contractor at some rice farms near the Omniville border in North state showed evidence of some lower level employees working longer than they were supposed to for wages that were below minimum wage. A similar report came in from a large aluminum strip mine in Guijarros state.
Upon realization of these facts, the Department of Labor is cracking down on those farms and mines in question, with monthly checks that go more in depth with employee work conditions, pay levels, and time spent laboring. They are also looking at increasing regulations on other mines and rice farms so that they do not see this issue elsewhere.
The problem does not appear to affect the majority of rice farms or nickel or aluminum mines in Freedemia. RiceFreedemia Incorperated, the largest producer and exporter of Freedemian rice that also produces all rice products for All-n-One (a Freedemian superstore largely located in Freedemia and Wiwaxia), has seen no issues with their rice farms. They have actually been recognized by the government in the past for having the best worker policies, wages, work conditions, and benefits for employees out of any rice farming company in Freedemia. Currently, no nickel mines appear to have been affected, either, as only one large aluminum mine seems to have shown signs of possible issues. Overall, these large companies with better conditions are very happy with the crackdown, because it not only helps resolve work condition issues, but it cracks down on their competition for cutting corners. Most of the better businesses will already have been working within the majority of the new regulations, thus not having to change much in their policies to continue doing well.
The Department of Labor was started under President Cara Harolds in 2007 to look closer at some critical issues her predecessors had let fall to the wayside. Up until now, it had primarily looked at making sure businesses were paying fairly, especially under President Angela Rosenthal’s Equal Pay Act assuring that men and women, or anyone for that matter, who do the same work get the same pay. This is the first time it has really had to crack down on work conditions, setting a precedent for future investigations and regulations from the Department of Labor.