Target Extends Hazard Pay for Front-Line Hourly Workers Through July 4

Target Corp. is extending hazard pay for hourly workers as the country continues to grapple with the novel coronavirus.

Ahead of its first-quarter earnings report on Wednesday, the Minneapolis-based company told employees on Monday that they will continue to receive a $2 per hour pay boost through July 4. The company also will offer other coronavirus-related benefits — including 30-day paid leave for those who are 65-plus, have underlying medical conditions or are pregnant.

Target had previously extended its pay increases and enhanced benefits through the end of May. The retailer has incurred hundreds of millions in additional costs since the pandemic began, driven by the increase in worker pay and benefits, more merchandise volume and investments in rigorous cleaning procedures in stores and distribution centers. In addition to enhancing its cleaning processes, Target is now providing face masks and gloves to all employees as a safeguard against the coronavirus. Further, the company is providing thermometers to staff so they can check their temperatures before coming into work. Target has also implemented social distancing procedures at its brick-and-mortar stores and distribution centers, including monitoring store occupancy to allow more space per person in line with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations.

Similar to Target, other essential retailers have provided their workers with increased pay and benefits amid the coronavirus pandemic. Walmart said on May 12 that it was paying out $390 million in cash bonuses for hourly workers on June 25, with full-time staff to receive $300 and part-time or temporary associates to get $150. In total, the corporation says it has allocated over $935 to associate bonuses in 2020. Meanwhile, Amazon announced last week that workers will receive$2 per hour wage hikes, as well as double overtime, through the end of May. However, the e-tailer plans to stop paying hazard time as June begins.

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