The effects; however, would not only be felt by the feed manufacturer (especially smaller firms), but also the consumer as, "In all likelihood, these additional costs would be passed along to consumers, causing an increase in food prices," wrote the organisation in its comments.
"AFIA believes the Department of Labour took a 'short
cut' upon drafting the proposed rule as it is composed as a one-size-fits-all
approach, and that simply will not work for our industry," said Richard
Sellers, AFIA senior vice president of legislative and regulatory affairs.
|Image: Sean MacEntee|
"It modifies salary thresholds for exempt employees but it fails to recognise the regional differences in median incomes. This is particularly concerning as a majority of our members are rurally located where competitive salaries cannot be compared to metropolitan wages."
"The proposed rule...would provide a disincentive to invest training resources in entry-level managers because training time would count against an employee's 40-hour workweek. Withholding training opportunities could reduce an employee's effectiveness and limit an employee's career advancement opportunities," AFIA commented.
In an unofficial survey conducted by the organisation, one-third of AFIA member firms indicated the proposed rule would deter companies from hiring trainee/entry-level employees; more than half of the respondents said the Fair Labour Standards Act would result in an additional US$200 or more per week on management expenses associated with monitoring employee overtime. Survey respondents did agree--by three-fourths--the overtime threshold should vary, ranging from US$29,000-US$40,000 per year.
AFIA also opposes provisions in the proposed rule that would link the overtime exemption salary threshold to the 40th percentile of salaries earned by U.S. workers.
"Many of our members, just like companies of various sectors, are known to develop budgets years in advance in an attempt to remain profitable in a low-margin industry. They cannot be expected to factor in the possibility of annual fluctuations in the overtime exemption salary threshold. It is unreasonable. During the 77-year history of the Fair Labour Standards Act, the overtime exemption has never been tied to a particular threshold," commented Sellers.
AFIA expects the final rule to be published in 2016 and urges the DOL to consider the organisation's comments in the interim.
Visit the AFIA site HERE.
The Global Miller
This blog is maintained by The Global Miller staff and is supported by the magazine GFMT
which is published by Perendale Publishers Limited.
For additional daily news from milling around the world: global-milling.com