DOL Rule May Impact Postdoc Pay and More in Science and Tech Weekly Summary 28

Check out our August Recess Guide so you can petition your local congressperson on science and technology and other policy issues! It’s your 1st amendment right to hold your congressperson accountable. Don’t let them relax while they’re on recess!

Also, the Week 28 in Science and Technology Policy Newsletter from RISE StrongerĀ  is now out! (Sign up for the Weekly S&T Summary here.)

I contributed the piece below on a Department of Labor rule than can have a huge impact on Postdoc pay.

Fate of Department of Labor rule may impact postdoc pay

On May 23, 2016, the Department of Labor (DOL) announced a new rule allowing overtime pay for certain professionals making less than $47,476, including most postdoctoral researchers. The rule would effectively incentivize a pay increase for postdocs making less than $47,476. Indeed, after the announcement, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) adopted a new pay scale for one of its most widely awarded postdoctoral fellowships. However, the rule, which was supposed to take effect December 1, 2016, was blocked by a federal judge in Texas on November 22, 2016. The rule, along with the potential postdoc pay raise, has been frozen, awaiting further determination by the court ever since.

On Wednesday, July 26, 2017, the DOL published a Request for Information (RFI) in the Federal Register seeking responses to a series of detailed questions concerning this rule, likely in anticipation of pending legal action (the legal challenge to the rule is currently being reviewed by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals). According to the DOL, “the RFI is an opportunity for the public to provide information that will aid the department in formulating a proposal to revise these regulations.” The future of the much-anticipated increase in postdoc pay may depend on the legal fate of this rule. Public comments must be submitted on or before September 25, 2017, and additional instructions can be found at Regulations.gov referencing the Regulatory Information Number 1235-AA20. Read more about the rule and the RFI in RISE Stronger’s policy and action brief on this topic.

 

 

 

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Weekly Science Policy Summaries from RISE Stronger (Week 27)

I recently became involved with the science advocacy group RISE Stronger. The group’s Mission is to “To build a dynamic, strategic movement of politically engaged communities that demand a responsible and accountable government which serves the interests of the people.”

One component of organization is the Science and Technology Working Group, which acts as a watchdog group for science in government. Every week we compile and release a newsletter on developments in Science Policy and reporting on any actions the Trump Administration or Congress have taken in the previous week that may impact the use of science in policy making or government actions on science issues. I am happy to have contributed a story on the opioid epidemic to last week’s summary.

Check out last week’s Science and Technology Policy Summary.

Or Sign Up to the Weekly Science Summaries using the link below (I’ll also post the links here as well).

https://tinyletter.com/rise-science-tech/

Stay informed! Stay active! Enjoy!