The Mix-up at DOT: The Value of SFA
Elsewhere in this issue, there is a story about how a regulatory mix-up at the U.S. Department of Transportation is causing headaches — and perhaps unnecessary expense — for companies that operate trucks under 10,001 lbs.
It’s an unintentional mistake, to be sure, but it’s serious, and we are now working with legal counsel and officials at the agency, as well as lawmakers on Capitol Hill, to reach a solution.
Check out the story; it explains what happened. Suffice to say that bureaucrats at DOT, in their zeal to make regulations uniform, made some changes that even they didn’t realize meant that such drivers, including snack food company route sales operators, would be entitled to overtime pay if they work more than 40 hours per week.
Somebody at the Department of Labor caught it, and DOL sent a letter informing DOT of the change.
But this is exactly why every company in the snack food industry needs to belong to and support SFA. With our resources in Washington, D.C., we are able to monitor issues like this and keep the pressure on until the matter is resolved.
DOT now says they want to work with us to find a solution, and we intend to do that. In addition, the matter was scheduled for discussion on Capitol Hill during our Day in D.C. event in mid-May, when SFA members were slated to meet with members of the House and Senate and key staff.
We will continue to work with the agency and with Congress to find a solution.
If you’re an SFA member, you can check out the SFA Web site, www.sfa.org, for more details. In the members section, there is a memorandum from SFA’s law firm and a summary by SFA transportation policy consultant Earl Eisenhart that details the situation.
We also have been covering the story in our weekly newsletter, The Snack Report, and we will continue to do so.
Certainly, we work hard on the big issues, like taxes, agriculture policy, nutrition, and more. But often, it’s these narrow, specific concerns where we can really provide direct assistance for our members.
If you don’t belong to SFA, you should. If you want more information about SFA membership, just call me or SFA Vice President Chris Clark at 1-703-836-4500.
President & CEO