Walmart, the world's largest private employer, is boosting its starting salary for US workers to $11 an hour, giving a one-time cash bonus of up to $1,000 to eligible employees and expanding its maternity and parental leave benefits. The retailer said Thursday that changes to its compensation and benefits policy will impact more than a million hourly workers in the US, where the company employs 1.5 million people. The wage increase, up from $9 per hour for new workers, comes into play next month. The company is also creating a new benefit to assist employees with adoption expenses. CEO Doug McMillon said in prepared statement that recently enacted tax legislation "gives us the opportunity to be more competitive globally and to accelerate plans for the US."
The pay hike at Walmart follows similar actions at rival Target, which raised its minimum hourly wage to $11 in October and will raise wages to $15 by the end of 2020. The specifics on Walmart's move, per the AP:
- The wage increase benefits all hourly US workers within its stores, Sam's Clubs, eCommerce, logistics, and home office.
- The one-time bonus will be given to all eligible full and part-time hourly US employees and based on length of service. Workers with at least 20 years qualify for a $1,000 bonus.
- Full-time hourly US employees will get 10 weeks of paid maternity leave and six weeks of paid parental leave. Salaried employees will also receive six weeks of paid parental leave.
- The company also promised help with adoptions, offering full-time hourly and salaried workers $5,000 per child that can be used for expenses such as adoption agency fees, translation fees, and legal or court costs.
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