Arlington, VA - FMI – The Food Industry Association filed two comment letters this month with the Biden-Harris Administration in response to a proposed rewrite of the federal overtime standard as well as a proposal to grant non-employees with access to non-public industry manufacturing and distribution facilities. 

The first letter, filed with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division on November 7, is in response to a proposed salary threshold increase used to determine non-exemption from the federal overtime standard. The FMI letter details the consequences that a significant increase in the threshold under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) would have on employees and employers. 

“FMI and our members believe that employees and employers alike are best served with a system that promotes maximum flexibility in structuring employee hours, career advancement opportunities for employees, and clarity for employers in classifying their employees under the FLSA,” noted Christine Pollack, FMI vice president, government relations. 

The second letter, filed yesterday with the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), details concern with the Worker Walkaround Representative Designation Process proposed rule to provide third-party individuals or groups with access to facilities when an OSHA Compliance Safety and Health Officer (CSHO) is conducting an inspection. 

"Allowing an unknowledgeable third-party representative to accompany a CSHO during an OSHA-inspection could create serious food safety hazards in both food production and warehousing," stated Pollack. The letter notes several other operational concerns with the proposal. 

The FMI letter on the overtime rule is linked here and the letter on the OSHA walkaround proposal is linked here. FMI also signed comment letters filed by the Partnership to Protect Workplace Opportunity and the Coalition for Workplace Safety.