Wal-Mart Raises Hourly Wage to $11 in Wake of Tax Overhaul
00:19, Jan 12, 2018
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Walmart, the world's largest private employer, is boosting its starting salary for USA 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 country's largest employer, which has more than 1 million hourly workers, said the changes were motivated in part by anticipated savings from the newly passed tax plan, which offers sweeping tax cuts for corporations.
Taking effect next month, the wage hike will be about $300 million incremental to what was already included in next fiscal year's plan.
Walmart also announced it will increase its minimum wage from $10 to $11. The one-time bonus represents an additional payment to associates of approximately $400 million in the current fiscal year, which ends January 31, 2018.
Full and part-time workers at Walmart, the world's biggest retailer, will receive a bonus of up to $1,000 based on their length of service.
The company is also creating a new benefit to assist employees with adoption expenses. "It's our people who make the difference and we appreciate how they work hard to make every day easier for busy families". A discrete one-time charge will be taken in the fourth quarter of the current year to account for the bonus; qualification will be determined before the end of the month, and payments will then be paid as quickly as practical. The tax law gives the retailer an opportunity to be more competitive globally and to accelerate investment plans for the U.S., he said.
President Trump and his fellow Republicans have argued that the corporate tax cut, part of the biggest overhaul to the United States tax code in 30 years, will benefit workers and lead to more investment by U.S. companies.
Walmart said hourly employees at its websites, distribution centers and its Bentonville, Arkansas, headquarters, will benefit from the wage increase.
Parental leave has been another area in which retailers including Target and Ikea have been trying to offer better benefits.
The raise will increase the average hourly pay at Walmart for full-time employees from $13.85 to $14.50.
But raising wages is something you could argue Walmart needed to do even in a less-favorable tax environment.
Workers in Washington D.C. and the states of California, Washington and MA, already earn at least $11 an hour.
The company also will provide full-time hourly workers with 10 weeks of paid maternity leave and six weeks of paternal leave. It has done well and strengthened its hand in online retail as many other retailers have struggled.
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