Walmart has announced plans to raise its starting wage for hourly associates to $11.
In many states, that boost in the starting wage will be higher than the legally required minimum wage.
The retailer is also offering a one-time bonus of up to $1,000 to employees and expanding maternity and paternity benefits, according to the company.
“Today, we are building on investments we’ve been making in associates, in their wages and skills development,” Walmart president and CEO Doug McMillon says in a statement. “It’s our people who make the difference and we appreciate how they work hard to make every day easier for busy families.”
McMillon mentioned recent tax reform as part of the impetus to transform the retailer’s pay scale and benefits programs.
“We are early in the stages of assessing the opportunities tax reform creates for us to invest in our customers and associates and to further strengthen our business, all of which should benefit our shareholders,” McMillon says. “Tax reform gives us the opportunity to be more competitive globally and to accelerate plans for the U.S.”
The minimum wage hike will begin in February, the big-box retailer reports. The amounts of the one-time bonuses depend on how long an employee has worked for the company. Employees who have worked for Walmart for 20 years or longer are in line for the maximum $1,000 bonus.
The pay increase will extend to hourly employees at Sam’s Clubs, to the company’s e-commerce division, logistics operations and Walmart’s home office.
Walmart will also expand its parental leave policies. Full-time hourly employees in the U.S. will receive 10 weeks of paid maternity leave and six weeks of paid paternity leave, according to the company.
In addition, employees pursuing adoption will receive assistance from Walmart. The adoption benefit may be used to cover adoption costs and provides full-time hourly and salaried employees with $5,000 per adoption.