(Salt Lake City) Following a month-long investigation, inspectors from the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food’s (UDAF) Division of Regulatory Services have taken action to prevent a California distributor from selling mislabeled down jackets at 16 Utah stores.
During in-store inspections, investigators discovered nearly 700 jackets and vests labeled as containing down material when laboratory testing confirmed they actually contained less than one percent down. The jackets have been embargoed to prevent them from being offered for sale.
The jackets were manufactured in China and distributed by Alliage Inc., of Los Angeles, California to three western wear clothing chains in Utah including AA Callister, C-A-L Ranch, and Reams. The embargo took effect before Reams could offer the products for sale. The three Utah retailers were unaware of the composition of the jackets and vests and offered complete cooperation, and voluntarily pulled the product from their stores.
The jackets and vests in question carry the brand name of “Rodeo” and an identification number on the collar tag that reads: RN 99007. The tag also indicates the fill material is “poly/down.” They also contained a small clear plastic pouch with a cluster of down, leading consumers to believe the jackets contain large amounts of down. Under Utah law the percentage of fill material must be indicated.
“We discovered the jackets because we had similar issues with the manufacturer in the past,” said Regulatory Services Division Director, Travis Waller. “We cited the company last year, and wanted to confirm they did not try to sell the mislabeled clothing again.” he added.
The California distributor faces citations and fines that could reach $300,000.
"This is an example of how Utah shoppers are protected from unfair commerce by our department’s inspection programs,” said Utah Commissioner of Agriculture and Food, LuAnn Adams.
Anyone who purchased a mislabeled jacket can contact their retailer with questions. Several of the stores were preparing to run post Thanksgiving Black Friday ads for the jackets, but the embargo prevented the sale of the misrepresented items in commerce.
The Division requires that the jackets be accurately relabeled prior to being released from the embargo which would allow retailers to place the items back on sale, and prevent the mislabeled jackets from being redistributed to states that do not have labeling accuracy laws.
Contact: Larry Lewis (801) 538-7104
Cell (801) 514-2152
Travis Waller (801) 538-7150
UTAH CELEBRATES FARMERS MARKET WEEK Aug. 2 - 8
Salt Lake City, Utah – Utah is celebrating National Farmers Market Week by sponsoring an Instagram contest for Utah’s Own companies. Utah has more than 800 local companies and product manufacturers that participate in the Utah’s Own program. The public is encouraged to visit a farmers market between August 2nd and 8th and take a picture of a Utah’s Own vender and share it on Instagram. The vendor could win a Utah’s Own sponsorship and the photographer could win a valuable gift bag.
“This is an excellent way to introduce farmers market shoppers to our Utah’s Own companies,” said Wayne Bradshaw, UDAF Director of Marketing and Economic Development. “Our farmers markets are a wonderful place for people to purchase fresh, wholesome and delicious foods delivered directly from the fields, “he added.
The number of farmers markets in Utah has grown from seven in 2001 to more 45 today. All direct-to-consumer farm sales in Utah generate more than $16 in revenue for Utah farmers and the state’s economy. Visit: HERE for a complete list of farmers markets in Utah.
Nationally there are more than 3,700 farmers markets operating throughout the United States – a record number, up from the initial count in 1994 of 1,755. The USDA estimates that local food sales from farmers markets, food hubs, CSAs, farm stands and farm to schools programs have grown from about $5 billion in 2008 to $11.7 billion in 2014.
Contact: Wayne Bradshaw (801) 538-7108
Cell (801) 244-7384
Larry Lewis (801) 538-7104
Cell (801) 514-2152
posted: July 31, 2015
WRITING PERFORMANCE PLANS THAT ARE MEANINGFUL TO EMPLOYEES AND DEFENSIBLE AT EVALUATION TIME
September 21, 2015
(This guidance is based on using the Utah Performance Management system for writing performance plans and evaluations.)
1. Develop “goals” consistent with the division’s mission and the team’s responsibilities that are job related and represent major duties of the job.
Example “goal” for a Front Desk Receptionist:
• Interaction with the Public
2. Understand what the goal elements of the Utah Performance Management system are asking for.
• Answer the question, “What is the employee to accomplish?”
• Focus on and describe the outcome the supervisor wants
• Support organizational goals
• Relate directly to required job skills and define how they will be utilized
Example “expectations” for a Front Desk Receptionist for the “goal” of “Interaction with the Public”:
1. Greet individuals who come to the administration building’s front desk area.
2. Receive mail and other deliveries to the administration building’s front desk area.
• Answer the question, “How will the employee perform their job tasks in order to meet job expectations, and how will the result be measured?”
• Start with a verb
• Are capable of being measured or observed
• Describe and illustrate work performance at the pass or successful, exceptional, etc. levels
• Focus on one or more of the following areas:
- Qualitative - How well, how accurately, how thoroughly is a task to be done?
- Quantitative - How much, how many of something is the employee to do?
- Timeliness - How fast is the employee to complete tasks?
- Work Behavior - In what manner is the employee to complete tasks?
Example “strategies” for a Front Desk Receptionist which relate to the above examples of “expectations:”
1. Smile at each individual who approaches the front desk area and use a pleasant tone of voice when communicating with them.
2. Date stamp all pieces of mail or other deliveries received at the front desk before distributing them to the proper areas and employees.
• The employee identifies the support, information, or resources needed from the supervisor or others in order to meet the expectations.
Examples of “support required” that the Front Desk Receptionist may request:
1. Orient the front desk and my chair so I can see individuals coming into the administration building.
2. Provide me with a properly functioning date stamp.
“Expected Outcomes” (job output measures)
• How the employee will be evaluated; the actual employee performance or products produced throughout the performance year.
• As you write performance plan “strategies” (how the employee is to complete tasks), ask yourself: “What documents, observations, or other means will I use to evaluate or measure the expected outcomes to see if they meet the ‘expectations’ and ‘strategies’ in the plan?”
• Examples of ways to evaluate employee performance:
- Case records
- Statistical reports
- Other data
- The employee-supervisor meeting
- Supervisor log, notebook, or file
- Spot checks of work production
Examples of “expected outcomes” a supervisor might use to measure or determine if the above expectations and strategies were met by the Front Desk Receptionist:
1. Observe whether the employee is greeting individuals who approach the front desk area with a smile and a pleasant tone of voice when communicating with them.
2. Spot check pieces of mail or other deliveries to the front desk to see if they are date stamped before distributing them to the proper areas and employees.
3. Make sure performance plans and evaluations comply with the DHRM Rules at R477-10, on Employee Development.
4. Write performance “expectations” and “strategies” that are clear, achievable, and measurable.
5. Use “expected outcomes” (job output measures) that can document how or why employees did or did not meet performance expectations.
posted: Sept. 29, 2015