All employees will also receive a one-time bonus, with those who have at least 20 years on the job qualifying for $1,000.
On the heels of the major federal corporate income tax break, Walmart announced Thursday (Jan. 11) it will increase the starting hourly wage for new employees from $9 to $11. All employees will also receive a one-time bonus, with those who have at least 20 years on the job qualifying for $1,000. Workers with less than two years experience will receive $200, CNBC reports.
The starting wage increase takes effect Feb. 17 and applies to employees at all U. S. Walmart stores, including Sam’s Clubs, eCommerce, its logistics personnel and workers at its home office in Bentonville, Arkansas.
The Republican-crafted tax package that Congress approved, and President Trump signed, last month drops the federal corporate income tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent. Retail was among the industries that proponents of the tax overhaul said were likely to benefit.
“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,” Doug McMillion, Walmart president and CEO, said in a statement.”
In addition to the starting pay bump and bonuses, Walmart also announced it was creating a new benefit to assist employees with adoption expenses. Full-time hourly and salaried workers can receive up to $5,000 per child to use for adoption agency fees, translation services or legal costs.
Walmart is also expanding its parental and maternity policy, offering full-time hourly workers with 10 weeks of paid maternity leave and six weeks of paid paternity leave. Salaried employees will also receive six weeks of paid paternity leave. It’s an increase from eight weeks of maternity leave and two weeks of paternity leave.
The wage increase will cost Walmart $300 million for its fiscal year that starts Feb. 1. The one-time bonus is a $400 million expense that will be recognized in the current fiscal year.
Shares of Walmart were trading Thursday morning at just under $100 on the New York Stock Exchange, nearly unchanged from Wednesday’s closing price.