August 17, 2016
I am writing today about the recently announced changes to federal overtime regulations that will affect the compensation of postdoctoral associates as of December 1, 2016.
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a federal law regulated by the Wage and Hour Division of the United States Department of Labor (DOL). This law regulates wage and hour standards such as minimum wage, overtime, equal pay, and time reporting requirements. On May 18, 2016, President Obama and Secretary Perez announced the publication of the DOL’s final rule updating overtime regulations. The University is required to comply with the changes to this law, effective December 1, 2016.
The regulations mandate that the standard salary level to qualify for exemption from the FLSA minimum wage and overtime requirements will increase from $455 per week ($23,660 per year) to $913 per week ($47,476 per year). In practice, employees who do not meet the revised salary threshold and other requirements, or who fail to qualify for other specific exemptions as outlined in the regulations, must be treated as hourly employees and be paid for each hour worked.
In order to comply with this new regulation, Human Resources at both Storrs and UCH has determined that postdoctoral associates will remain exempt and (where requisite), their salaries will be increased to the new threshold of $47,476.
Given this decision, all submitted proposals must include budgets that reflect the new minimum salary requirements for research staff. Information regarding these salaries is available on the OVPR website for UConn Health and the Storrs and regional campuses. Please contact OVPR Preaward Services staff with any questions at 860.486.3007 (Storrs/regional) or 860.679.4040 (UConn Health).
With regard to the added burden of increased postdoctoral associate salaries on existing projects after December 1, 2016, Central Administration at both Storrs and UCH will provide one-time financial support in FY2017 for postdoctoral associates whose salaries will increase to the new federally regulated threshold. This support will allow projects already underway in Storrs and UCH to maintain their budgeted buying power and complete the research or scholarship activities they set out to do. The Office of the Vice President for Research will work closely with Principal Investigators (PIs) to transfer these funds into the appropriate accounts.
PIs with awards from the National Science Foundation are encouraged to contact their program officer to discuss requesting additional funding to cover the increased cost of postdoctoral associate salaries, per a recently released notice from the NSF.
Thank you for your cooperation. We look forward to continuing to support your research and scholarship in every way that we can.
Dr. Jeff Seemann
Vice President for Research