Published: Fri, January 12, 2018
Markets | By Rosalie Gross

Walmart closing more than 60 Sam's Club stores

Walmart closing more than 60 Sam's Club stores

But the move could have at least as much to do with rising minimum wage requirements nationwide that are increasingly leaving the $7.25 federal minimum, and even Walmart's new minimum, in the dust. (The company now offers six to eight weeks of partially paid maternity leave and no parental leave.) The Bentonville, Arkansas-based company will also offer adoption benefits for $5,000 per child to full-time hourly and salaried employees. According to the company, all of these wage and benefit changes will positively affect its 1 million-plus USA hourly associates.

The retailer also said it was expanding maternity and parental-leave benefits, as well as creating a new benefit to assist with adoption expenses.

Walmart raised its minimum wage to $9 an hour in 2015 and the following year offered a $1 rise to those who completed an internal training scheme.

Walmart announced Thursday it will raise the minimum wage for more than a million U.S. workers to $11 an hour and pay bonuses, crediting the USA tax reform approved in December for making the changes possible.

More news: Harvey Weinstein slapped at a restaurant

Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said the changes were a direct result of the new tax law. He credited tax reform for allowing the company to "accelerate plans for the U.S". (Not long after it announced the wage increase, reports emerged that it was closing dozens of Sam's Club stores.) As for parental leave, it is increasingly becoming the law of the land, too, with NY and California requiring companies to offer expanded paid maternity and paternity leave. It will range from $200 to $1,000 depending on workers' length of employment with Walmart. Full-time hourly workers in the United States will be eligible for 10 weeks of paid maternity leave.

Walmart is also offering assistance to employee seeking to adopt a child.

The change will give full-time hourly workers at Walmart stores the same maternity- and parental-leave benefits as the company's salaried employees. The national unemployment rate at a 17-year low, making it increasingly hard to for companies to attract - and keep - workers. 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. Those with 15 to 19 years of service will receive $750, while those with 10 to 14 years of work there will receive a $400 bonus, and five to nine years of experience merits a $300 bonus.

"I would've been astounded if they hadn't raised wages", said Thomas Kochan, at professor at MIT's Sloan School of Management. And about $400 million will be applied to the current fiscal year ending January 31, 2018 for the bonus payments. With the nation's unemployment rate now at almost 4%, labor markets around the country have grown tight, and at least some employers feel wage increases are necessary to attract and retain their best workers. The firm also said it would give a one-time $1,000 bonus to more than 13,500 employees.

Like this: