A business owner in Michigan got into the holiday spirit by surprising his 200 workers with a large Christmas bonus. Lee Schoenherr, who owns the Ludington-based FloraCraft, announced that he will be giving out $4 million to his employees during the company's annual Christmas party. He said the bonuses will be based on longevity and each employee will receive an average of $20,000.
Schoenherr said the employees will start to receive the money by the end of 2019 and that 75% of it will be contributed to their 401k while the rest of the bonus will be given to them in cash. They will receive part of the bonus in 2020 due to federal laws that limit how much an employer can contribute to retirement programs in a given year.
"Through the years, my wife and I have supported the community in a variety of ways. Every time we did that I thought to myself, the reason we can do this is because I have such great people — loyal, hardworking — to make it possible for us to do it. I thought it was probably really time to recognize the fact that they have played an important part in any of the giving we have done. And this would be a good way to show my appreciation just for them," Schoenherr explained to WOOD-TV.
The employees broke into applause and tears of joy when Schoenherr made the announcement.
"It was very humbling. I started crying — it was huge for him to do something like that for everybody," Mary Overla told the Detroit Free Press.