Target is boosting its minimum wage to $15 an hour starting next month — making good on a previously announced plan to raise the minimum to $15 by year’s end.
The change, a bump from a starting wage of $13, will begin on July 5 as coronavirus-induced pay hikes come to an end. In addition, the company will give a one-time cash bonus of $200 as recognition of the efforts put in by front-line store and distribution centers hourly workers during the COVID-19 crisis, on top of the $250 to $1,500 bonuses given to hourly store team leads in April.
Along with boosting pay, Target is also increasing benefits for staff. Starting this week, the retailer is making free virtual doctor visits available for all employees, regardless of if they receive health insurance through Target. Additionally, the company will offer free backup care for worker families through the end of August, as well as extend its 30-day paid leave option for those who are 65-plus, are pregnant or have preexisting health conditions.
“In the best of times, our team brings incredible energy and empathy to our work, and in harder times they bring those qualities plus extraordinary resilience and agility to keep Target on the forefront of meeting the changing needs of our guests and our business year after year,” said Target CEO and chairman Brian Cornell in a release. “Everything we aspire to do and be as a company builds on the central role our team members play in our strategy, their dedication to our purpose and the connection they create with our guests and communities.”
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Target said it will invest nearly $1 billion more this year “in the well-being, health and safety of team members” than it did last year — including the changes announced today as well as investments in personal protective equipments, coronavirus-induced pay hikes and a $1 million donation to the Target Team Member Giving Fund.
In 2017, Target made a commitment to increasing its minimum wage to $15 per hour by the end of 2020. The chain advanced its minimum wage to $11 that year and raised its starting hourly minimum to $13 in June 2019. During the pandemic, hourly workers have been receiving a pay hike of $2 per hour, which will end July 4. Target has nearly 1,900 stores nationwide and employs over 350,000 workers. The increase in minimum wage will effect about 275,000 of the company’s workers, it said.