Starbucks increases worker pay for next month in open locations during COVID-19

Starbucks is boosting the wages of its employees who choose and are able to work during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“Partners who are able and choose to continue to come to work will be eligible for Starbucks Service Pay, an additional $3 per hour for shifts worked as scheduled Mar. 19-Apr. 21. If a partner has made the decision to not work at this time, they can continue to use catastrophe pay through April 19,” the company said in an update.

On Friday evening, Starbucks (SBUX) began temporarily suspending indoor access to all of its 15,000-plus U.S. cafés and moved to drive-thru and delivery only.

About 60% of the 15,000 Starbucks stores in the U.S. offer drive-thru service. Starbucks offers delivery in partnership with Uber Eats across 49 markets in the U.S. The coffee giant is also keeping its cafés in and around hospitals open as an exception to serve healthcare workers.

In a letter on Sunday, CEO Kevin Johnson said that on Saturday morning after the announcement about closing access to the cafés that partners “in every region around the U.S. and Canada showed up before dawn to open drive-thru-only experiences at their stores.”

“They filled in for each other at short-staffed nearby stores. Our stores that could open, did. Our partners showed up. They showed up for their communities,” Johnson wrote.

In response to COVID-19, Starbucks has expanded its existing sick pay and personal time off benefits to include catastrophe pay. The company said it would pay its employees for 30 days whether they choose to come to work or stay home. Johnson added that “no partner should be asked to choose between work and their health.”

“It is the responsibility of every business to care for its employees during this time of uncertainty, shared sacrifice, and common cause. I hope to see many business leaders across this country doing all they can to retain jobs, pay employees, continue benefits, and demonstrate compassion as they make critical decisions. Not every decision is a financial one,” Johnson wrote.

Julia La Roche is a Correspondent at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter.

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