McDonald’s Corp., in a reversal of company policy, said it no longer will lobby against minimum-pay hikes in the U.S.

“Going forward, McDonald’s Corporation will not use our resources, including lobbyists or staff, to oppose minimum wage increases at the federal, state or local levels,” Genna Gent, the company’s vice president of U.S. government relations, said in a letter sent March 27 to the National Restaurant Association. “Nor will we participate in association advocacy efforts designed expressly to defeat wage increases.”

McDonald’s restaurants employ more than 800,000 people domestically—many of whom work for franchised locations that are independently owned and...