'Fiscal Cliff' prompts furlough guidance

by Meat&Poultry Staff
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OAKLAND, Calif. – A government agency has posted new guidance to federal workers on possible furloughs that could be triggered if Congress fails to approve a budget before the “Fiscal Cliff” deadline, according to a notice from Barry Carpenter, CEO of the North American Meat Association.

FSIS employees will be given a minimum 60-day notice before any furlough of longer than 22 days and a 30-day notice for any shorter furloughs, according to the new guidelines released by the US Office of Personnel Management.

“During stalled budget negotiations in the past, FSIS has designated inspectors as “essential” personnel who continued working despite any shutdowns,” Carpenter said in a statement. “However, the uniqueness of the current situation is causing some to speculate that the size of the shortfall might cause a reduction in inspection personnel or even necessitate a fee-for-service arrangement.”

Carpenter added that NAMA is engaged with legislators, regulators and other associations and will continue to monitor developments.

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