Starbucks Corp. plans to spend $250 million on new employee benefits, including a pay boost fordomestic workers, in the wake of the federal tax overhaul.

The coffee chain will increase pay for its 150,000 U.S. hourlyand salaried employees in April, following its regular annual raiseearlier this month. It’s also taking its paid-sick time benefit national, allowingworkers to save up time off to use for themselves or family,Seattle-based Starbucks said on Wednesday.

Starbucks becomes the latest U.S. company to pledge a portion ofits federal tax-cut windfall to employees, which the coffee giantcalls “partners.” Apple Inc. said earlier this month that it’s giving most of its staff a$2,500 bonus. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., meanwhile, plans to hikeits starting wage to $11 an hour and give out $400 million inone-time bonuses.

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