Starbucks to Increase Wages, Improve Benefits for 150k Employees

Starbucks said Wednesday it plans to increase wages and enact other perks for more than 150,000 U.S. employees as a direct result of a recent tax reform, joining other corporations in rewarding workers.

The Seattle-based coffee chain is giving all its U.S. employees an unspecified raise in April, in addition to a wage increased already dispersed this fiscal year, which began in October. The company said its investing roughly $120 million in the wage increases.

Starbucks is also awarding workers stock grants worth a total of more than $100 million to those employed by the chain as of Jan. 1, 2018. Retail employees will receive at least a $500 grant, while store managers will receive grants of $2,000, the chain said.

Grants will be dispersed based on employment level on April 15 to all full-time, part-time, hourly and salaried employees in the country. Additionally, Starbucks is installing a new sick time policy that will allow employees to accrue sick days based on hours worked, as well as an expanded parental leave policy.

“Today, we are proud to announce additional investment in stock, wages and a new partner and family sick time benefit that will further enhance our industry-leading approach. Just as we have always felt strongly that our partners are key to our business success, we have also known offering a valuable, comprehensive benefits package helps us retain our valuable partners,” Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson said in a statement.

The company will provide more detail about how the initiatives will impact its full-year financials when it reports first quarter earnings on Jan. 25.

Walmart was also in the news this month for announcing wage increases; the retailer giant said it will be boosting its starting hourly wages for U.S. workers to $11 per hour. The company also announced that it will also give a one-time cash bonus of up to $1,000 to eligible employees and is expanding its maternity and parental leave benefits.

Walmart's compensation and benefits policy will affect more than one million hourly workers in the U.S. The company employs around 1.5 million people in the U.S.

The company is also creating new benefits that help employees with adoption costs.

CEO Doug McMillon confirmed that recently-enacted tax legislation “gives us the opportunity to be more competitive globally and to accelerate plans for the U.S."

"The new law will create some financial benefit for the company," Walmart said in its statement, saying it was "early in the process of assessing potential additional investments," and that it would provide additional details next month when it announces quarterly earnings.