NSF Implementation of the Department of Labor’s new FLSA Final Overtime Rule

As we have announced previously, the Department of Labor has revised the Fair Labor Standards Act to update rules related to overtime pay. These new rules raise the threshold for requiring overtime pay to $47,476, effective December 1, 2016.

These changes may have impact on staff working on federally-funded research grants, including postdoctoral researchers. NIH has already issued some guidance on their approach to addressing these changes and we have shared that with the research community here at Emory.

The National Science Foundation has now also issued some guidance on their implementation of the new FLSA rules. As NSF notes in their FAQ, NSF postdoctoral fellowship programs already include stipend or salary amounts that are above the new threshold.  NSF is reviewing the language in their program solicitations to remove any language that would prevent their grantees from complying with the new rules.

For postdoctoral fellows on research grants, because salary levels are set at the institutional level, NSF will not be issuing salary increases for postdoctoral researchers. However, NSF policy generally allows for rebudgeting of award funds for any changes necessitated by the new rules. NSF has also indicated that for awards for which funds are not available to rebudget, a grantee should contact the NSF Program Officer to discuss the matter.

NSF’s full approach to the new rules is addressed in the attached FAQ’s.

Written By: Holly Sommers
Director | Office of Sponsored Programs

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