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News Releases
USDA Announces Proposed Rule to Include "Donning and Doffing" As Part of Workday for Inspection Program Personnel
Congressional and Public Affairs
(202) 720-9113
Catherine Cochran

WASHINGTON, Aug. 9, 2010 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) today announced a proposed rule that would amend current regulations governing the schedule of operations at federally inspected meat and poultry slaughter establishments. FSIS is proposing to redefine the eight-hour workday for inspection program personnel to include time needed at the workplace to put on, or "don," and take off, or "doff," required gear, time spent walking to work stations after donning required gear, and time spent walking from work stations before doffing required gear.

FSIS is proposing the rule in accordance with the Supreme Court's holding in IBP, Inc. v. Alvarez and policy guidance from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).

Under the Federal Meat Inspection Act, the Poultry Products Inspection Act, and the Egg Products Inspection Act, FSIS provides mandatory federal inspection of meat and meat food products, poultry products, and processed egg products. FSIS bears the cost of mandatory inspection provided during non-overtime and non-holiday hours of operation, while the establishments pay for inspection services performed on holidays or on an overtime basis. The regulations define the basic workweek as five consecutive eight-hour days, excluding the lunch period. FSIS proposes that the eight hours of inspection service provided by the Agency include sufficient time for inspection program personnel to put on required gear and walk to a work station as well as to return from a workstation and remove required gear. Any time over those eight hours is overtime charged to an establishment.

The Agency seeks comments on or before September 8, 2010, through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at www.regulations.gov, or by mail to: Docket Clerk, FSIS, U.S. Department of Agriculture, George Washington Carver Center Room 2-217, 5601 Sunnyside Avenue, Beltsville, MD, 20705. All comments submitted must identify FSIS and the docket number FSIS-2010-0014. Comments will be available for public inspection and posted without change at www.regulations.gov.

For further information, contact Dr. Daniel Engeljohn, Acting Assistant Administrator for the Office of Policy and Program Development, FSIS, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-3700. Dr. Engeljohn can also be reached by phone at (202) 720-2709, or by e-mail at Daniel.Engeljohn@fsis.usda.gov.
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Last Modified Jun 04, 2013