Fair Labor Standards Act Implementation at Ohio State: Information for Postdocs
* Disclaimer: This is not an official document and the members of the Postdoc Association are not HR experts.
Attached you will find the Office of Human Resources (HR) response to how the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) will be implemented at Ohio State (Download Here). Page 2 of the document has a special section that addresses Postdoctoral Researchers and Postdoctoral Fellows. In short, Postdoctoral Fellows are not eligible for FLSA because fellows are considered trainees and not employees of the University. If you are not sure whether you are a Fellow or a Researcher, please follow this link that details the difference between the two designations.
Each college or department, and in some cases the PI, will handle the implementation of FLSA on their own. They are required to adhere to the guidelines that are defined in the attached document; however, they may choose to implement the changes differently. These changes are scheduled to take effect October 30, 2016. Hopefully, you have already received an email from your HR representative informing you of this change.
What does this mean for Postdoctoral Researchers and other employees who are currently exempt from overtime?
- Ohio State will require your PI to follow the law, but will not require your PI to do so by increasing salaries to the minimum to meet FLSA requirements to avoid overtime pay.
- Some PIs/colleges/departments will raise your salary to be above the $47,476 per year threshold. In this case, you would continue as usual with a higher salary.
- Your college/department may opt to track your hours and pay you overtime for any time over 40 hours per week rather than increasing your overall salary. There are important guidelines that must be followed with regard to how you are paid. It is your responsibility to report your hours correctly. Make sure you understand how you are to report your hours. For further information, go to https://hr.osu.edu/services/compensation/flsa and speak to your HR representative.
What does this mean for Postdoctoral Fellows and Postdoctoral Researchers applying for Fellowships?
- Currently, Postdoctoral Fellows are excluded from FLSA meaning their pay is not required to meet the FLSA minimum of $47,476 per year. If you are a Postdoctoral Researcher and accept a fellowship after October 29, 2016, your salary may be reduced depending on the stipend amount (as determined by the funding agency). Since you will no longer be included in FLSA, you must be certain that the stipend and benefits provided by the fellowship are satisfactory. Ohio State will not require your PI to meet FLSA minimums for pay.
- Pelotonia Fellows – As of October 2016, the Pelotonia organization does not intend to raise stipends to the minimum FLSA standards. We will let you know if there are any updates to their policy.
- How does this affect you? If you are applying for a Pelotonia Fellowship and are currently a Postdoctoral Researcher at Ohio State, you may receive a pay reduction if you accept the fellowship after October 29, 2016.
- Other Fellows – Check with your funding agency to see how they plan toimplement FLSA. Each one will handle this differently. See the above Pelotonia Fellows section for how this may affect you.
Remember that each college/department may be implementing this differently.
The OSU Postdoctoral Association (PDA) is currently working with the OSU Postdoc Advisory Council (PAC) to compile a document that lists how each college/department as Ohio State is implementing FLSA. This will take some time, so we wanted to get the information that we have to you as quickly as possible.
Contact your college HR representative for specifics regarding how you should expect the FLSA to be implemented. If you have any issues with how your college/department/PI is implementing FLSA, you are welcome to reach out to your PAC representative listed below:
College of Arts and Sciences
Marcela Hernandez (firstname.lastname@example.org)
College of Education and Human Ecology
Kim Lightle (email@example.com)
College of Engineering
La’Tonia Stiner-Jones (firstname.lastname@example.org)
College of Veterinary Medicine
Kathy Froilan (email@example.com)
All other Colleges
Jeff Agnoli (firstname.lastname@example.org)
As always, you may also reach out to the PDA officers and Policy and Advocacy Committee. Their contact information can be found here.