Department of Labor Releases Final Overtime Rule

May 19, 2016

The roll-out of the new Federal Labor Standards Act (FLSA or the Overtime Rule) began late last night with a press release from the White House. Of specific interest to the research community, however, is an op-ed published in the Huffington Post co-authored by NIH Director Francis Collins and Labor Secretary Thomas Perez stating that:
  • Postdocs are not exempt from the rule, and are thus eligible for overtime pay
  • Institutions can choose to raise postdoc salaries above the threshold or carefully track postdocs’ hours and pay overtime
  • NIH believes that the only option consistent with the professional nature of scientific work is to increase salaries above the threshold, and thus the agency will raise the NRSA stipend above the threshold
  • NIH also recognizes that not all postdocs are supported by NRSA’s and that this change will present financial challenges, but plans to work with the community to find creative solutions to ensure compliance with the new rule
The final rule (which becomes effective on December 1, 2016) was released this morning, and the Department released three implementation guidance documents, including one for institutions of higher education.  This fact sheet reiterates that postdocs are subject to the salary threshold. Additional information is available on the DOL’s webpage.