The Walt Disney Company announced Tuesday it will give a one time, $1,000 cash bonus to 125,000 U.S.-based employees, for a whopping total of $125 million. And according to an internal memo obtained by TheWrap, Disney CEO Bob Iger said the bonuses come “as a result of the recently enacted tax reform” passed by Republicans in December.
The one-time $1,000 cash bonus will be distributed in two payments of $500, the first in March and the second in September. All U.S.-based Disney employees, either hourly or salaried, who have been with The Walt Disney Company since Jan. 1 of this year will be eligible. In accordance with federal law, the company said it will work separately with union representatives to determine possible distribution plans for union employees.
Disney, which acquired 21st Century Fox assets for $52.4 billion in December, also announced a new higher education initiative for its hourly workforce funded with an initial investment of $50 million. Close to 88,000 employees will be eligible for the program, which will pay for college or vocational training, including courses unrelated to specific responsibilities within the company. Disney said it will provide up to $25 million in funding to the program annually.
The bonuses and education initiative amount to a total allocation of more than $175 million for this fiscal year.
“I am proud we are directing approximately $125 million to our cast members and employees across the country and making higher education more accessible with the launch of this new program,” Iger said in a press release. “I have always believed that education is the key to opportunity; it opens doors and creates new possibilities. Matched with the $1,000 cash bonus, these initiatives will have both an immediate and long-term positive impact.”