McDonald's has announced plans to raise employee wages at corporate-owned restaurants and provide workers with additional benefits.
The company says it will raise starting wages to $1 above the local minimum wage for new employees and also adjust the wages of current workers. The wage increase, which is expected to impact some 90,000 workers at about 1,500 U.S. McDonald's-owned restaurants, will go into effect on July 1. Franchisees own the majority of McDonald's restaurants, however, with corporate restaurants only making up one-tenth of all the fast food chain's locations. The corporation is allowing franchise owners to make their own decisions on how to handle employee wages and benefits.
Corporate-owned McDonald's restaurants will also provide employees of more than one year paid personal time off, and will pay them for the time if they opt not to take it off. The company will also pay tuition assistance and offer other educational opportunities to employees.
"We understand that life balance is important, and believe that this will make a difference for our people," McDonald's CEO Steve Easterbrook wrote in a letter announcing the new plans.
The announcement on increased wages and benefits comes after two years of protests by fast food workers calling for increased wages, namely $15 an hour, and better benefits and working conditions.