On Dec 1st, the threshold at which salaried workers receive overtime payment for working more than 40 hours per week will increase from $23,660 to $47,476 per year, under updates to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
All postdocs working in the U.S. who are not in a primarily teaching role, come under this ruling, regardless of visa or fellowship status. Therefore institutions who do not currently pay their postdocs above this threshold will either have to choose to track the hours of a postdoc, or to raise salaries to the new threshold.
It is currently our expectation that all institutions will choose to raise salaries rather than track hours – the cost will likely be less to the institution by avoiding administrative burden, and it runs counter to academic culture. However a recent survey and report suggests that there are institutions considering hours tracking and so we have decided to prepare resources for postdocs to provide as much information as possible.
All resources can be found in our new “Resources” section, on the “FLSA and postdocs” page. We are keeping track – and still asking for your help to do so – of what institutions are doing to comply with the federal labor law and will be updating this as information comes in.
Some of our newest resources include this talk by Executive Director Gary McDowell at Tufts, presenting his case on why he thinks no institution will track hours – the talk is freely available for use and downloading, the slides are available on the F1000Research FoR Channel and discussed here on Reddit. Please feel very free to present this at postdoc association events and to spread the resources around your postdocs and other postdocs you know.
Other resources include the Boston Postdoctoral Association’s excellent resource and FoR’s original statement on the ruling (including an infographic on salaries).
Please get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org for more information; to send us what is happening at your institution; and to let us know if we can be of any assistance for webinars/hangouts to discuss the FLSA with postdoc associations.