BURBANK (CBSLA/AP) — The Walt Disney Co. will give more than 125,000 eligible employees a one-time $1,000 cash bonus and invest $50 million in an education funding program.

The media company said Tuesday the bonuses will go to all full and part-time non-executive employees, either hourly or salaried, who have been with the company since January 1, 2018, and are based in the U.S.

Nearly 88,000 hourly employees will be eligible for the education program which will cover tuition costs. Along with the initial $50 million investment, the Burbank-based company will provide up to $25 million annually for the program.

The education initiative will be available to nearly 88,000 of Disney’s hourly employees in the U.S.

“Participants can pursue qualifying higher education or vocational training, including courses unrelated to their current responsibilities at Disney,” according to a company statement.

Disney becomes the latest major corporation to pledge bonuses to employees less than a month after Congress approved a sweeping overhaul of the U.S. tax code championed by President Donald Trump that will increase corporate profits.

Companies including AT&T, Bank Of America, Apple and Walmart have announced they would be giving employees cash bonuses up to $2,500 following the passage of the tax law.

Some critics, however, have questioned the sincerity of the bonuses, noting that some of the companies offering them were already making billions in annual profits and had the financial capability to offer such employee
incentives prior to the tax plan.

Walmart’s bonus announcement, for example, coincided with the announcement of the planned closure of dozens of Sam’s Club stores, affecting an unknown number of jobs.

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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