McDonald’s employees getting pay hikes, paid leave at some locations

The person taking your order at McDonald’s may be smiling a little more than usual in the coming months.

Ninety percent of workers at the chain's 14,000 locations are independently owned and are not affected by the new wage program. (Getty Images)

Ninety percent of workers at the chain’s 14,000 locations are independently owned and are not affected by the new wage program. (Getty Images)

The country’s largest fast-food chain is increasing pay at corporate-owned locations, and instituting paid time off for full- and part-time workers. The wage program, however, will affect workers at the 10 percent McDonald’s restaurants that are corporate owned.

Ninety percent of workers at the chain’s 14,000 locations are independently owned and are not affected by the new wage program.

McDonald’s is also offering assistance to help employees complete a high school or education, a program that will be available to both corporate and franchise workers.

“We’ve listened to our employees and learned that — in addition to increased wages — paid personal leave and financial assistance for completing their education would make a real difference in their careers and lives,” McDonald’s President and CEO Steve Easterbrook said in announcing the new benefits.

The company said more than 90,000 workers will be under the new wage program. Beginning  July 1, starting wages will be $1 over the locally-mandated minimum wage. Existing wages will be adjusted, the company said. By the end of next year, wages will average more than $10 an hour. The paid time off also will start July 1.

The company said the education benefit would be available to employees at both company and franchise locations and would cover about 750,000 workers.

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