On May 18, 2016, President Obama and Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez announced the publication of the Final Rule with respect to changes in the overtime regulations. These changes will extend overtime pay protection to over 4 million workers within the first year, and will become effective on December 1, 2016. The regulations will apply to both hourly and non-exempt salaried employees.
Prior to the change in regulations, overtime was only automatically guaranteed to employees earning less than $23,660 per year. After December 1, 2016, employees earning less than $47,476 will be automatically guaranteed overtime for any work beyond their forty hours.
Additionally, the Final Rule raises the compensation level for highly compensated employees subject to a more minimal duties test from $100,000 to $134,004. The duties test, which affects the determination of who is exempt from overtime, has not been changed as a part of the Final Rule.
Finally, a mechanism has been established to automatically update the salary and compensation levels every three years. This will ensure that the salary and compensation levels keep up with the ever-changing market. The first automatic update is scheduled to take place in 2020.
A study performed by the Department of Labor revealed that although these changes may seem harsh on private employers, only 20% of the affected employees regularly work overtime. Of the remaining 80%, 19% work overtime occasionally and 60% don’t work overtime at all.
Key Bank Gets the Final “OK” on the First Niagara Merger
By August 1, 2016, First Niagara Bank will become part of KeyCorp, the parent of Key Bank.
On October 30, 2015, KeyCorp and First Niagara Financial Group announced that they had entered into an agreement wherein KeyCorp would acquire First Niagara in a cash and stock transaction totaling $4.1 billion. This merger will make KeyCorp the 13th largest commercial bank headquartered in the United States.
But what does that mean for First Niagara Shareholders? Under the terms of the agreement, First Niagara shareholders will receive 0.68 KeyCorp shares and $2.30 in cash for each common share in First Niagara. As such, per share consideration will be valued at $11.40.
Upon completion of this transaction, KeyCorp will have approximately $99.8 billion in deposits, $83.6 billion in loans, and 1,366 branches across 15 states. The majority of the branches being merged are located in the upstate New York region. The branch consolidations are expected to start in October of 2016 and continue throughout 2017.
Finally, as those in Buffalo are all too familiar with, the name of Buffalo’s only professional sports arena, currently operating as the “First Niagara Center,” will become the “Key Bank Center” for the 2016-2017 Buffalo Sabre’s season.
Prepared by Ashley E. Trank