Team Obama Regulates Goat Herders' Workplaces
The Obama administration is setting new workplace regulations to assist foreign workers who fill goat herding positions in the U.S. , including employee-paid cell phones and comfy beds.
These new special procedures issued by the Labor Department must be followed by employers who want to hire temporary agricultural foreign workers to perform sheep herding or goat herding activities. It describes strict rules for sleeping quarters, lighting, food storage, bathing, laundry, cooking and new rules for the counters where food is prepared.
“A separate sleeping unit shall be provided for each person, except in a family arrangement,” says the rules signed by Jane Oates, assistant secretary for employment and training administration at the Labor Department.
“Such a unit shall include a comfortable bed, cot or bunk, with a clean mattress,” the rules state.
Diane Katz, a research fellow in regulatory policy at The Heritage Foundation, unearthed the policy in the "Federal Register," the massive daily journal of proposed regulations that Washington bureaucrats publish every day.
Under the Obama Administration, the nanny state has imposed 75 new major regulations with annual costs of $38 billion.
“This captures what is wrong with government,” Katz said. “I could not have made this up.”
With unemployment holding steady at 9% and government regulations adding more burden to small businesses, such as those run by ranching families, Katz said, bureaucrats aren’t helping.
“Instead of remedying the problem, the regulations make it that much harder,” Katz insisted. “We may need a whole set of regulations just to define what a comfortable bed is. I imagine it’s not straw."
The new lighting standards say that in areas where it is not feasible to provide electrical service such as tents or mobile trailers, lanterns must be provided. “Kerosene wick lights meet the definition of lantern,” the regulations say.
“When workers or their families are permitted or required to cook in their individual unit, a space shall be provided with adequate lighting and ventilation.”
“Wall surfaces next to all food preparation and cooking areas shall be of nonabsorbent, easy-to-clean material. Wall surfaces next to cooking areas shall be of fire-resistant material,” the regulations say.
“It makes you wonder,” Katz said, “how they ever did this before the government got involved?”
“Who knew we needed all of this federal help for herding goats?” Katz quipped.
Audrey Hudson, an award-winning investigative journalist, is a Congressional Correspondent for HUMAN EVENTS. A native of Kentucky, Mrs. Hudson has worked inside the Beltway for nearly two decades -- on Capitol Hill as a Senate and House spokeswoman, and most recently at The Washington Times covering Congress, Homeland Security, and the Supreme Court.