(From left to right) Executive Vice President of Manufacturing Rusty McKee gave cash award checks to Melissa Gwen Allen and Mary Peavy, who are both packaging technicians. (Photo: Contributed)

This week, McKee Foods employees got a surprise cash award, which company leaders said was made possible by recent federal tax legislation.

Employees came to work expecting a typical day Tuesday, but instead, leaders notified them that full-time employees would get an extra $1,000.  Part-time employees got $500, and limited and provisional employees got $250.

The company’s extra money had been earmarked to cover tax obligations but wasn’t needed after President Donald Trump and Republicans passed a tax reform bill.


This bill cuts the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent.

“The recent federal tax legislation will provide benefits to the company and will allow us to invest back into the business,” CEO Mike McKee said in a prepared statement. “The first thing we thought about was investing in our employees.”

The announcement and disbursements of checks coincided with the company’s routine, yearly Spring Report Meetings, where all employees are invited to hear an update on the company from leadership.

“We decided to keep this a tightly-guarded secret to make it more fun and impactful,” Executive Vice President Debbie McKee-Fowler said in a prepared statement. “Except for our September Profit-Sharing Meetings, this is about the most fun I’ve had at work in my entire career.”