Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Higher postdoctoral pay mandate triggers financial concerns - Josh Weinstock and Lillianna Byington, GW Hatchet

As universities across the country try to rake in already-strained research dollars, they’re faced with another challenge: how to pay researchers. A new federal law to increase the pay provision for postdoctoral fellows has the University discussing ways to raise the salaries for 55 of those fellows. But faculty members and postdoctoral fellows say they’re concerned about where funding will come from and how the new pay mandate could impact research – an area of top priority for the University. The Fair Labor Standards Act, a law that includes overtime pay provisions for employees, previously entitled all U.S. workers to overtime pay unless they were exempt because they were paid preset salaries of at least $23,660 per year, according to the Department of Labor. In May, the department announced a new rule to increase the overtime pay threshold to $47,476 starting on Dec. 1. Postdoctoral fellows' salaries likely could fall within that gap.

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