What happened

One of the meme stocks of the moment, Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY), trounced the big indexes on Monday with a gain of almost 6%. While there's always some unpredictable volatility in meme stocks, the specialty retailer benefited directly from some news about benefits.

So what

Monday morning, Bed Bath & Beyond announced it is rolling out a new set of benefits for its employees, namely:

U.S. currency packed into a scale model of a shopping cart.

Image source: Getty Images.

  • Paid parental leave, under which the company's full-time workers in the U.S. will receive 100% of their salary for up to eight weeks after the birth of their bundle of joy (or new adoption or fostering of a child).
  • Short-term disability pay, which is to become a company-sponsored program replacing the previous voluntary initiative that was funded by employee contributions. This also applies to U.S. full-time workers only.
  • The creation of an "associate relief fund," under which both full-time and part-time workers can apply for grants. This will be funded jointly by the company and through voluntary worker contributions; following an initial contribution that wasn't specified, Bed Bath & Beyond said it will match 50% of all worker contributions up to $500,000 through the end of the fiscal year.

Now what

Bed Bath & Beyond did not provide any estimates for how much these programs might cost. Regardless of expense, they are encouraging for investors because the labor market is becoming tight. That's particularly true of lower-salaried jobs in industries such as retail, so the company is making a smart move to retain current employees and attract new ones.