The announcement from the Department of Labor (DOL) regarding the eligibility of postdoctoral researchers for overtime compensation under sweeping changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is less than one week old.In response, the National Postdoctoral Association (NPA) continues to assemble resources to address the numerous questions about the rule and its implementation from both individual postdoctoral researchers and research institutions. Several NPA members have inquired how teaching activities for career development purposes are treated under the updated rule. Postdoctoral scholars for whom primary duties are not teaching generally would meet the duties test for the learned professional exemption and would thereby be subject to the salary test and threshold. The NPA is proactively working with the research community and reaching out to federal funding agencies to clarify remaining questions and facilitate a smooth implementation of the final rule.
The NPA is also aware of several legislative measures underway in both chambers of the U.S. Congress intended to thwart implementation of the final rule. We fully appreciate that implementing the new $47,476 salary threshold by December 1, 2016 poses multiple challenges to the research community. However, as a long-time advocate for compensation commensurate with the education and training level of postdoctoral scholars, the NPA seeks to determine workable solutions by continued collaborations with the research community and federal funding agencies.
I'm confused by the FSLA rule that exempts residents and interns on the grounds they "have their degree and are going through a period of advanced training." This rationale applies to postdocs as well.