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Starbucks to bump up wages and benefits in 2018

(BUSINESS NEWS) Starbucks Coffee Company announces 2018 line-up of benefit and compensation offers, leading the industry with its strong retail employee benefit offerings.

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Starbucks Coffee Company is adding an extra shot of espresso to its employee benefit and compensations offerings this year, according to a Jan. 24, 2018 announcement. Starbucks employees (also known as “partners”) can now eagerly expect another round of wage increases, stock grants, and sick time and parental leave program improvements in the coming months.

Overall, the newly-announced offerings total more than $250 million and will impact more than 150,000 employees. And, according to the company’s announcement, the introduction of these perks was accelerated by the recent U.S. tax law changes.

“While Starbucks already pays above the minimum wage in all states across the country, we have always felt strongly that a valuable benefits package must complement and contribute toward an industry-leading total compensation package,” Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson said in a statement. “The value of Starbucks benefit package (fully accessed) is unmatched by other retailers and provides thousands of dollars of additional compensation value.”

Here’s what their employees will gain this year:

Additional wage increase
In April, U.S. hourly and salaried Starbucks employees will receive an additional wage increase which will be on top of the annual increases already doled out this year. Overall, this upcoming wage increase will cost the company $120 million. Wage increases will be allocated across the country based on cost of living and entry wage laws which vary state-to-state.

Stock grants
On April 16, Starbucks will offer an additional 2018 stock grant all full-time, part-time, hourly and salaried employees nationwide, so long as they have been active employees as of Jan. 1, 2018. Retail partners will receive at least a $500 grant each and store managers will each receive a $2,000 grant. Non-retail plant and support center partner grants will be awarded based on annualized salary or level. These stock awards, which will be 100 percent restricted units and will vest in one year, are valued at more than $100 million altogether.

Partner and family sick time
There’s going to be a new sick time benefit plan, too, which will allow Starbucks employees (Full-time, part-time, hourly and salaried) to accrue paid sick time based on how many hours are worked. This time off can then be used toward time off to care for themselves or a family member during illness. Starting July 1, employees will earn 1 hour sick time for every 30 hours worked. So, someone who works 23 hours a week will accrue about five sick days over the course of a year.

Parental leave
New moms aren’t the only ones covered by Starbucks parental leave policy anymore, either. All parents and non-birth parents can access up to six weeks paid parental leave when their family grows.

These changes aren’t the first of their kind for Starbucks, either. Since 2015, they have invested nearly $800 million in wage increases and benefits across its U.S. stores and expanded its Starbucks College Achievement Plan in early 2017. Starbucks is also set to invest nearly $7 billion of capital to build and renovate U.S. stores, manufacturing plants and technology platforms over the next five years.

To see how Starbucks employee compensation and benefits stack up against what other retailers offer, see their full release.

Sienna is a Staff Writer at The American Genius and has a bachelor's degree in journalism with an emphasis in writing and editing from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. She is currently a freelance writer with an affinity for topics that help others better themselves. Sienna loves French-pressed coffee and long walks at the dog park.

Business News

Supreme Court okays trademarking for ‘generic’ name URLs

(BUSINESS NEWS) Generic name trademarks have helped to stave off monopolies of broad products and services, but the Supreme Court just ruled that generic company names like Booking.com, can now be trademarked.

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For years, The United States Patent and Trademark Office has denied rights to names termed as “generic.” This was previously used to prevent generic terms from monopolizing a section of the market. It has prevented many companies from doing that as well.

However, as we move into the 21st century we begin to see things that may not be so cut and dry. As usual life gets messy and things are far more grey than they previously have been.

Recently, the US Supreme Court ruled that website names are eligible for a change to the previous trademark rules. The website that pushed for this privilege first, Booking.com that is owned by Booking Holdings Inc., argued that they needed this ruling to stop consumers from following copycats down a rabbit hole and away from their business.

The decision, heavily weighted at 8-1, gives Booking.com, nationwide legal protection against competing companies trademarks.

A remark released later by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the Supreme Court states, “We have no cause to deny Booking.com the same benefits Congress accorded other marks qualifying as nongeneric.” An argument quoted from the decision continues as since, “‘Booking.com’ is not a generic name to consumers, it is not generic.”

This stance, taken by the majority, exemplifies a firm position on the rights of the individual companies’ abilities to identify themselves as they see fit.

The lone dissenting vote coming from Justice Stephen Breyer who argued that he fears that this decision “will lead to a proliferation of ‘generic.com’ marks, granting their owners a monopoly over a zone of useful, easy-to-remember domains.”

Honestly, if you can’t come up with your own domain that either incorporates, but doesn’t copy, or gets your point across without being too generic, you may need to hire a PR person.

This move forward from the Supreme Court opens up a lot of possibilities for people to be creative with their businesses. If generic and simple names will be the norm, then people will have to think outside the box in the future. Bring on the challenges.

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Business News

New company beats Amazon with next morning delivery?

(BUSINESS NEWS) Amazon has a new competitor in South Korea: Coupang, with faster shipping than Prime.

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What if I told you Amazon Prime’s, 1-3 day guaranteed delivery time isn’t the fastest e-commerce service the world has to offer? You would think I’m lying right?

Coupang, one of the world’s fastest delivery services located in South Korea, allows you to order any item, anytime before midnight, promising that it will be at your doorstep by 7am! (I wasn’t lying!) With 70% of its employees living within a 10 minute radius of a Coupang center, 80% of residents residing in populated cities and 95% of it’s population owning a smartphone, South Korea has become the perfect e-commerce epicenter. Coupang employees over 10,000 people who together deliver 99.3% of all orders within 24 hours. Imagine it’s Tuesday night, you’re falling asleep and suddenly remember you forgot to get your wife a present for her 50th birthday tomorrow. You have two options: accept your fate of being put in the dog house for three long weeks, or quickly order a few great items off Coupang’s website that’ll be delivered BEFORE she even wakes up!

Like Amazon, Coupang allows its customers to create a profile, store desired products in a list, and check out using your saved payment method. Half of South Korea’s total population of 51.6 million has installed Coupang’s app with a surge of people trying Coupang for the first time during stay at home orders due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The company struggled to meet fulfillment demands, especially those including PPE, household cleaning products, and children’s necessities. While many companies are struggling to stay afloat, Coupang is quickly adapting to meet consumer demands. In March, the company opened a new logistics center to expand its overnight/same day delivery services and is currently working to reach an even broader population.

Believe it or not, right before Coupang received a $2 Billion investment from SoftBanks, its founder, Kim Bom debated walking away from it all. Bom founded the company in 2010, receiving the investment in 2018 and is expected to pursue an IPO by the end of 2020. So for all of you entrepreneurs wondering if you should give up on that decade long dream…DON’T. Coupang went from selling a few hundred items each day to 3.3 million. Now that’s what you call entrepreneurism!

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Business News

Google plans to pay publishers for content (a little too late)?

(BUSINESS NEWS) Google will finally pay publishers for news, but only a few, and they have to meet Google standards.

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I mean…could you get any greedier Google? (Chandler Bings voice).

After years and years of pressure and complaints from publishers that Google’s search feed doesn’t properly recognize them or the news they work so hard to report, Google has finally announced that they will begin to pay publishers for content. But only some.

WHAT A LOAD OF BS.

According to the News Media Alliance, Google profited 4.7 BILLION in 2019 as a search engine for the news industry. So now, not only is Google fleecing its content providers and the writers who are working to create material for them, but it’s quite likely that Google’s algorithm is pushing paid news to the top of its search feed. What does this mean for users? It means that for one, you will see what they want you to see, but most importantly, it means that Google HAS the money to pay its publishers but chooses not too!

Google’s announcement to start paying publishers excludes all publishers outside Brazil, Germany, and Australia. Even within the countries that Google closed a deal with, there are many that do not meet its “high quality content” requirement for a paid position. The problem with all this nonsense is that we stopped letting the news come from others like us, and instead, according to the U.S News Media Alliance, the news is entirely owned by a handful of companies. You may have 635 channels on your TV, but if you google…or maybe you should duck duck go it, you’ll find that all those channels lead back to one huge organization.

SO WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?

Google has definitely been pressured to make some big changes, and while paying publishers is a good first step in the right direction, is it enough to make up for years of damage?

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