Wage & Labor Issues

Food retailers must comply with numerous labor and wage regulations. We help our members comply with the many employer-focused requirements while working with regulatory agencies to ensure the industry and its workforce are overseen appropriately without unnecessary regulatory burdens.

Wage & Labor Resources

Overtime Pay

In May 2016, the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division released a rule that revised the overtime pay provisions under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and would have nearly doubled the standard salary level. Legal challenges temporarily blocked the regulation ahead of its December 2016 effective date, and in August 2017, the court permanent enjoined the rule, fully striking down the 2016 regulation. In July 2017, the Department of Labor began seeking information from stakeholders as an indication that the agency would revise the previous overtime rule, and we will work with the agency as they move forward with their rulemaking process in the months ahead.

The federal minimum wage is regulated by the Department of Labor’s Fair Labor Standards Act. There have been federal bills aimed at raising the current $7.25 hourly minimum wage, but they have seen little movement in Congress. Most of the changes to the minimum wage have been made across the country in the state and local legislatures.

DOL State by state chart of wage levels

Minimum Wage

Family and Sick Leave

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law that provides employees with periods of unpaid, job-protected leave to care for certain family and medical reasons. There are states and local municipalities that have passed laws that require covered employers to provide paid sick and family leave for their employees, and this issue will likely continue to be active at the state and local levels.  

State Issue Paper: Paid Leave Legislation 

For the retail sector, restroom access policies for transgender employees and customers are governed by the stores’ status as a “public accommodation” and an “employer” under federal and state civil rights and non-discrimination laws. While federal law does not prohibit discrimination based on gender identity in public accommodations, 19 states plus the District of Columbia have prohibited discrimination based on gender identity in state non-discrimination laws for public accommodations. Meanwhile, in the employment context, both the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration have issued rulings or guidance that discrimination based on transgender status is sex discrimination in violation of Title VII of the Civil Right Act. Additionally, 20 states and the District of Columbia have protected gender identity in state employment non-discrimination laws.

Restroom Access Resources

Restroom Access Policies

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For questions or more information, please contact FMI’s Chief Regulatory Officer and General Counsel, Stephanie Harris.

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The FMI Government Relations Committee reviews, formulates and recommends to the Public Affairs Committee the programs and positions necessary to represent the interests of grocery retailers and wholesalers before the federal and state governments. The Committee recommends priorities and directions for the maximum utilization of FMI's resources and assists in influencing and implementing government relations programs at the national and state levels.

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