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Pay rise for NIH postdocs

A federal judge’s decision to halt new overtime laws before they go into effect will not change the National Institutes of Health’s plan to double salaries for postdoctoral researchers.

The Department of Labor announced rule changes in May that would require employers to pay overtime to workers on less than about $47,500 dollars a year, starting on 1 December. The NIH told the institutions that it funds that they could either start tracking hours or raise postdoc salaries above that limit, and suggested the latter might be the easier course. In August the agency increased one of its most common awards for postdocs above the new limit.

Now the fate of the changed standards is unclear. A federal judge blocked the new labor rule before it could go into effect, and some Republicans in Congress are saying that they will overturn the law in 2017.

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