Lowe’s to pay U.S. staff $1,000 bonus following tax reform

A view of the sign outside the Lowes store in Westminster, Colorado February 26, 2014

(Reuters) – Lowe’s Cos Inc on Thursday said it would pay a one-time bonus of $1,000 for over 260,000 hourly U.S employees, as the home improvement chain takes advantage of changes in the U.S. tax code.

The company said it would also give new benefits, including additional paid maternity and parental leave and adoption assistance benefit of up to $5,000, to qualified hourly full-time employees.

Lowe’s expects an additional net tax expense of about $75 million in the fourth quarter of 2017.

The charges and the one-time bonus, that is being paid to store, distribution center and customer and contact support centers, will hit its fourth quarter earnings per share by about 14 cents, Lowe’s said.

Lowe’s joins a list of companies that include Home Depot Inc, AT&T Inc, Wells Fargo Co and Boeing Co, which have promised more pay for workers since the Republican-controlled U.S. Congress passed the biggest overhaul to the U.S. tax code in 30 years.

(Reporting by Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)

Home Depot settles consumer lawsuit over big 2014 data breach

(Reuters) – Home Depot Inc has agreed to pay $13 million to compensate consumers affected by a massive 2014 data breach in which payment card or other personal data was stolen from more than 50 million people.

The home improvement retailer also agreed to pay $6.5 million to fund 1-1/2 years of identity protection services for card holders, and take steps to improve data security.

Terms of the preliminary settlement were disclosed in papers filed on Monday with the federal court in Atlanta, where Home Depot is based.

Court approval is required, and Home Depot did not admit wrongdoing or liability in agreeing to settle.

The company also agreed to pay legal fees of the plaintiffs’ lawyers, on top of the settlement fund.

“We wanted to put the litigation behind us, and this was the most expeditious path,” Home Depot spokesman Stephen Holmes said. “Customers were never responsible for any fraudulent charges.”

According to court papers, the settlement covers about 40 million people who had payment card data stolen, and 52 million to 53 million people who had email addresses stolen, with some overlap between the two groups.

The $13 million will compensate consumers with documented out-of-pocket losses or unreimbursed charges.

Home Depot has said the breach affected people who used payment cards on its self-checkout lines in U.S. and Canadian stores between April and September 2014.

In November, Home Depot said it had incurred $152 million of expenses from the breach, after accounting for expected insurance proceeds.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Additional reporting by Nate Raymond; Editing by Chris Reese)