KIELER, WIS. – Food safety and contract sanitation industry company PSSI announced that it hired a new chief executive officer along with the launch of a charity to help children in communities where it works following a Department of Labor (DOL) investigation earlier in 2023.
Tim Mulhere will assume the CEO role on April 24, succeeding Dan Taft, who is expected to retire after 24 years at the company.
Mulhere previously worked for more than 20 years in several executive leadership roles at Ecolab, a food safety, hygiene and infection prevention company.
“I am pleased to take on this new position as CEO of PSSI,” Mulhere said. “The company and its devoted employees play a mission-critical role together with its valued customers protecting the health and safety of our nation’s food supply chain. Our focus as a team moving forward will be on continuing to invest in the highest standards possible for safety, compliance and world-class service.”
PSSI also announced its new charitable fund with the goal of “enhancing the well-being of children in the communities we serve and helping reduce the prevalence of the rising problem of unauthorized underage workers amid record levels of unaccompanied minors entering the United States.”
The fund will provide aid for services in legal aid, education, poverty reduction and health services. The fund will start with a $10 million commitment.
The company was issued a $1.5 million fine after the DOL claimed that at least 102 workers from 13 to 17 years of age were employed by PSSI to clean meatpacking plants.
The DOL’s wage and hour division stated in its findings that some jobs included working with hazardous chemicals and cleaning meat processing equipment.
Investigators said at least three minors were injured while working for PSSI.
After the fund announcement, PSSI reiterated that it’s dedicated to working with government agencies, outside experts, local communities and other companies and stakeholders to prevent hiring unauthorized minor workers.
The company said it would build on the existing mandatory policy of using the federal government’s recommended E-Verify system to confirm the employment authorization of all new hires. It deployed ongoing audits, training and a $10 million investment in biometric identity verification.
PSSI also hired a third-party law firm to examine company procedures to make additional recommendations and retained a former officer for the US Customs and Border Patrol to provide enhanced identity theft training.
The company also will work with a former DOL official who will conduct monthly unannounced inspections to track compliance as part of the settlement.
Other steps taken by PSSI include a “See Something, Say Something” campaign encouraging local employees to anonymously report any concerns, including age-related concerns, without fear of repercussions. It would also hire new compliance personnel to enhance its standard hiring screening processes further.