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.


There are less than two months to go til the change, and there are still many institutions who have not announced what they are doing about implementing the new changes.


We have previously posted about this and are continuing to build our resources and materials on out “FLSA and postdocs” resource page. Please continue to contact info@futureofresearch.org, or tweet at us, comment on our website and let us know what is happening at your institution.


Some of the latest info includes updates for what the NIH, NSF and HHMI are doing with fellowships:

National Institutes of Health NRSA Stipends: NIH is raising its stipends above the FLSA minimum effective December 1st.

Howard Hughes Medical Institute: HHMI raised their minimum postdoc salary to $50,000 for those at year 0 experience level, effective November 1. This goes up $1,000 for every year of experience. The new salary applies for all postdocs at the Janelia campus and those in HHMI labs paid from HHMI funds.

National Science Foundation:In general, NSF postdoctoral fellowship programs already include a stipend or salary amount in excess of the new minimum announced in the Department of Labor’s FLSA final overtime rule. NSF will examine Program Solicitation language to remove any restrictions that might prevent grantee compliance with the final overtime rule. For postdoctoral fellows supported on standard research grants, the salary is determined by
the grantee institution. Each institution must implement a policy to comply with the final overtime rule. This may result in the need to rebudget an existing NSF award. Please see FAQ #4 for additional information on rebudgeting.”


Further reading: a special issue on inequality in science came out in Nature recently. Read on in the editorial, “Socio-economic inequality in science is on the rise,” and the articles “Is science only for the rich?” and “Science’s 1%: How income inequality is getting worse in research.