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Important Changes in UTHSCSA Postdoc Compensation

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Author: VPR | Category: Around Campus | October 14, 2016

Faculty and Postdoctoral Fellows:

This memo is a follow up to the announcement from Human Resources (HR) today about federal updates to the Department of Labor's (DOL) minimum salary requirements and overtime rules under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), and to explain how these changes will impact postdoctoral fellows and their mentoring faculty members (supervisors) at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio.

Effective December 1, 2016, the DOL will require that in order to be "exempt" from overtime compensation, an employee must be paid a minimum annual salary of $47,476 ($913 per week). Due to the nature of the work performed by postdoctoral fellows on their path toward independence, the institution - along with the majority of academic health institutions around the country - has determined that postdoctoral fellows should remain "exempt" from the FLSA overtime rules.

Therefore, effective December 1, 2016, postdoctoral fellows must be paid a minimum of $47,476 per year to maintain the "exempt" FLSA designation as defined by the DOL. For those postdoctoral fellows who receive a stipend from a NIH-sponsored individual (F32) or institutional (T32) National Research Service Award (fellowship or training grant, respectively), the NIH has announced that trainee stipend levels and funding will be increased accordingly. 

For those postdoctoral fellows paid from other sources, it will be the responsibility of the mentoring faculty member to engage the Chairs/Directors of the department/institute/center associated with the primary appointment of the fellow to identify funds to supplement any gap between the current and new salary level.

For postdoctoral fellows, your mentoring faculty member and the department/institute/center associated with your primary appointment will help you understand personnel actions that affect you effective December 1, 2016.

For investigators, all new proposals for grants and contracts should budget no less than the FLSA minimum salary for all postdoctoral research positions to ensure they are sufficiently funded. Under this new federal legislation, the FLSA minimum salary level is expected to be reviewed and updated every 3 years, with the next FLSA minimum salary threshold update in 2020. It would be prudent for PIs to factor in regular postdoc salary increases when preparing future grant proposals.

For more information, visit the HR FLSA website where resources, tools and FAQ's regarding these changes will be available. Additional information will follow in the coming weeks before December 1, 2016.

Andrea Giuffrida, Ph.D.
Vice President for Research

Linda McManus, Ph.D.
Director, Office of Postdoctoral Affairs

Chris Green, CPA
Director, Office of Sponsored Programs 

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