Sarah Roden

About the Author Sarah Roden

Sarah writes about stock market news for TipRanks. She graduated as member of Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Richmond in Richmond, Virginia.

Increasing the Minimum Wage, One CEO at a Time (MCD) (WMT) (SBUX)

Since fast food workers began protesting low salaries last year, minimum wage has come under scrutiny around the country. Many large corporations have come under fire for shelling out exorbitant CEO pay checks while entry-level workers struggle to pay bills. Gravity Payments, a credit card processing company, made headlines this week as the CEO implemented a new minimum wage of $70,000 a year; a significant increase from the average salary of $48,000 a year at the company. In three years’ time, every employee at Gravity Payments will earn at least $70,000. To finance the pay increase, the CEO will take a pay cut from $1 million to $70,000 and the company will dip into profits.

Here are three other companies that have made big announcements highlighting pay increases or innovative employee benefits in the past year:

On April 1, McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD) announced wage increases, improvements to the paid time-off scheme, and an expanded program for McDonald’s employees to complete high school and earn college tuition assistance. Starting in July, McDonald’s employees at company-owned stores will be paid $1 more than their local minimum wage, and this wage should be more than $10 by the end of 2016. McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook commented that this investment in the workforce will not only benefit the employees, but will “improve the McDonald’s restaurant experience.”

On average, the top analyst consensus for McDonald’s on TipRanks is Hold.

On February 19, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) CEO Doug McMillon followed suit and announced a pay raise for Wal-Mart’s lowest paid workers. McMillon explained that Wal-Mart is intended to be a sustainable company that gives all employees the resources they need to reach their full potential. His announcement, which garnered a lot of media attention, outlined a new compensation plan for Wal-Mart employees.  Current Wal-mart associates will begin earning at least $9 an hour in April and $10 an hour by February 2016 while department managers will earn $13 an hour by this summer and $15 by early 2016. McMillon commented, “There will be no better place in retail to learn, grow, and build a career than Walmart.”

On average, the top analyst consensus on Wal-Mart on TipRanks is Hold.

Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX) seems to be ahead the curve. The coffee chain raised wages for employees in October of 2014, though Starbucks did not offer details on the raise. A few weeks ago, Starbucks raised the bar and unveiled the College Achievement Plan. The plan allows Starbucks employees to earn a bachelor’s degree through Arizona State University with a full tuition covered by Starbucks and ASU. Starbucks recognizes the value of having a college degree and wants to ensure its employees have a competitive advantage in the workforce at large. The company is not shy about stating that employees have no obligation to stay with Starbucks after earning a degree.

On average, the top analyst consensus for Starbucks on TipRanks is Moderate Buy.

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