Starbucks unveils election perk for employees

As employers increasingly look at ways to get their employees involved on Election Day, Starbucks has unveiled a unique perk for all of its employees: free transportation to the polls.

The coffee giant says it will provide all U.S. employees with a free one-way Lyft ride (up to $75) to the polls to vote, volunteer as a poll worker, or drop off a ballot at a post office, ballot box or other official ballot drop location. The perk is available until Nov. 3. The company, with 200,000 U.S. workers, unveiled the news on its website Tuesday.

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Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson previously told employees they wouldn’t have to choose between working or voting on Election Day. He said employees would get flexibility on Nov. 3, encouraging them to plan with managers and schedule time to vote or volunteer at polling places.

“The upcoming election is a reminder that we, as citizens, play an active role in our society by simply getting involved and voting,” Johnson said. “Who you vote for is a very personal decision that you make as a citizen. It is one way for you to be heard. It is how democracy works.”

Starbucks is the latest employer to get involved in the upcoming election. Old Navy, which has more than 50,000 U.S. workers, announced last month that it will give store workers a full day of pay in return for serving as poll workers, regardless of whether they are scheduled to work on Nov. 3.

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Related: Here’s why Verizon is giving workers PTO to vote

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Kathryn Mayer
Kathryn Mayer is HRE’s former benefits editor and chair of the Health & Benefits Leadership Conference. She has covered benefits for the better part of a decade, and her stories have won multiple awards, including a Jesse H. Neal Award and honors from the American Society of Business Publication Editors and the National Federation of Press Women. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Denver.