Business Stories of the Week: Friday, Jan. 26, 2018

by January 26, 2018

Starbucks is expanding sick and paternity leave options, as well as offering bonuses to employees. (Photo via Pixabay.com)

Bank of America adds account fees

Some Bank of America customers will see a mandatory $12 monthly fee to keep their accounts open, Quartz reported this week. Critics argue that this fee will negatively impact the company’s poorest customers, since the fee is waived for account holders with a $1,500 daily balance or at least one $250 direct deposit per month. A change.org petition protesting this new policy already has more than 45,000 signatures.

Starbucks expands perks

The international coffee giant is giving its employees more perks in the wake of the new tax laws, according to the Chicago Tribune. In addition to a pay raise and a one-time stock bonus, Starbucks is adding paternity leave for new fathers and increasing the amount of sick leave employees can take. This comes alongside other companies, like Walmart, that are increasing benefits, raising wages and offering bonuses to employees.

CEO says treat social media like tobacco

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff told CNBC that social media platforms like Facebook are as addictive — and as socially harmful — as tobacco and should be regulated as such. He believes that tech companies, like tobacco companies, work to make their product addictive to attract more users. This addiction, when coupled with a relatively unregulated environment, leads to issues like Facebook’s Russian advertisements, Benioff claimed.

Burger King’s stand on net neutrality

To demonstrate their belief in Net Neutrality, fast food giant Burger King pranked real customers by making them believe they weren’t going to receive their Whoppers in a timely manner unless they paid a premium for faster service. Customers that paid $25.99 for their burgers got them immediately, while customers that paid the regular price of $4.99 had to wait longer — even though the burgers were ready. The video ended by saying, “The internet should be like the Whopper: the same for everyone.”

Cryptocurrency “Dash” partners with ASU

The cryptocurrency Dash — which means “digital cash” — has partnered with Arizona State University to create the Blockchain Research Lab, led by computer science professor Dragan Boscovic. In an interview with ASU Now, Boscovich offered a simple explanation of cryptocurrencies and blockchain, including their security features, currency trading and other aspects of the technology that have confused consumers.