"The big-box retailer announced Thursday it will increase its starting wage rate for hourly employees in the U.S.to $11, and expand maternity and parental leave benefits", according to CNBC.
The retailer said on Thursday changes that to its compensation and benefits policy will impact more than a million hourly workers in the United States, with the wage increase effective next month.
-Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will raise entry-level wages for United States hourly employees to $11 an hour in February as it benefits from last month's major overhaul of the U.S. tax code, the company said on Thursday.
He added that "tax reform gives us the opportunity to be more competitive globally and to accelerate plans for the U.S".
The company, which is the nation's largest private-sector employer, said it's also expanding its parental and maternity leave policy.
The starting wage rate increase, which is in addition to wage hikes already slated for many USA markets this coming fiscal year, applies to all US hourly associates, including those who work in stores, Sam's Clubs, the ecommerce division, logistics and the company's home office.
For example, AT&T and Comcast dished out one-time bonuses of $1,000 to non-management workers, while Wells Fargo and Fifth Third Bancorp boosted base hourly pay to $15. For Wal-Mart, the payouts will result in a one-time charge that will be taken in the fourth quarter of the current year.
Walmart said the wage increase benefits all hourly US workers at its stores, including Sam's Club. Last quarter, the Bentonville, Arkansas-based company posted its strongest US sales gain in more than eight years.
In assessing potential additional investments made possible by the new tax reform law, Walmart will consider the needs and expectations of associates, customers and shareholders while working within its financial framework of strong, efficient growth; consistent operating discipline; and strategic capital allocation.
The one-time bonuses will range from $200 to $1,000, depending on how long workers have been with Wal-Mart.
The company will also expand hourly leave, "providing full-time hourly associates in the US with 10 weeks of paid maternity leave and six weeks of paid parental leave", it says. The idea is to reward employees who won't benefit from the new starting wage. Parents who adopt kids will get the same benefit, along with $5,000 to help cover the costs. The retailer says it has spent about $2.7bn to increase wages over the past few years. The federal minimum wage is $7.25.