Starbucks Invests in its Employees

Company announces a new partner and family sick time benefit for all U.S. employees, as well as a second wage increase.

January 25, 2018

SEATTLE –  Starbucks Coffee Company announced a series of new employee (partners) offerings that span across wage and benefits. These offerings will total more than $250 million for more than 150,000 employees and are accelerated by recent changes in the U.S. tax law.

With this investment, Starbucks says it is offering a total compensation approach that is best in class for part-time and full-time employees across American retail.

According to a benchmarking study by Aon and commissioned by Starbucks, the benefits awarded to employees who work 20 hours or more per week at Starbucks rank above any other retailer in the study, and are three times more valuable than any other retailer in their study. 

“For more than 30 years, Starbucks has continued to challenge the status quo offering comprehensive employee compensation for our partners (employees). We were one of the first retailers to offer full healthcare benefits to our partners –even those working part-time–and more recently we revolutionized access to a tuition-free four-year degree for all partners with the Starbucks College Achievement Plan through our partnership with Arizona State University,” said Kevin Johnson, CEO of Starbucks.

Johnson added that Starbucks is also offering a new Partner and Family Sick Time benefit, which will allow employees to accrue paid sick time based on hours worked and then use them if they or a family member needs care. When this benefit goes into effect this year, sick time will accrue at a rate of one hour for every 30 hours worked, thus an employee working 23 hours a week can expect to accrue approximately five days of sick time benefit over the course of one year.

“The value of Starbucks’s benefit package [fully accessed] is unmatched by other retailers and provides thousands of dollars above the value of other companies’ compensation offerings. I am extremely proud to share that in the past four years Starbucks has made an investment of nearly $800 million in employee compensation and benefits.”

Starbucks says that pays above the minimum wage in all states across the United States. In April 2018 all eligible U.S. hourly and salaried employees will receive a second wage increase in addition to the annual increases that they have already received this fiscal year. This will include an investment of about $120 million in wage increases that will be allocated based on regional cost of living and laws that vary from state to state.

On April 16, Starbucks will provide an additional 2018 stock grant for all eligible full-time, part-time, hourly and salaried U.S. employees across its stores, plants and support centers, who have been active as of Jan. 1, 2018. All Starbucks retail employees will receive at least a $500 grant, store managers will each receive $2,000 grant and plant and support center employee (non-retail) grants will vary depending on annualized salary or level. This investment is valued at more than $100 million. 

Starbucks has also committed to create more than 8,000 new part-time and full-time retail jobs and an additional 500 manufacturing jobs in its Augusta, Georgia, soluble coffee plant.

For store employees, Starbucks has also expanded the parental leave policy to include all non-birth parents with up to 6 weeks of paid leave when welcoming a new child.

All of these new offerings are in addition to the nearly $7 billion of capital that Starbucks will deploy to build and renovate stores, manufacturing plants and technology platforms in the U.S. over the next five years.