Retail giant Target has announced a bevy of new plans including a permanent increase of its starting minimum wage to $15 an hour.
According to Yahoo Finance, the $2 raise will affect 275,000 employees across the U.S. The retail superstore’s minimum wage is now 25% higher than the U.S. industry average.
“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,” Brian Cornell, chairman and CEO of Target said 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.”
The $15 minimum was a promise Target made in 2017 to raise its starting rate to $15 an hour by the end of 2020. Last June, Target raised its minimum wage to $13 to honor the commitment.
Cornell also announced Target will give a one-time recognition bonus of $200 to its frontline store workers and distribution center hourly workers for their efforts working through the coronavirus pandemic. The superstore will also help employees stay healthy in the future by offering free access to virtual doctor visits for all team members through the end of the year, regardless of whether they currently subscribe to a Target healthcare plan.
Target also announced additional extensions of a 30-day paid leave for vulnerable team members, as well as free backup care for family members.
“The most important investments we make are in our team. I have tremendous gratitude for the way our team members show up with such purpose and pride for our guests, communities and one another,” said Melissa Kremer, Target’s chief human resources officer said in a statement.
“These investments help ensure that team members can build meaningful careers, take care of themselves and their families and contribute to building our communities through their work inside and outside of Target.”
Earlier in the year, when the coronavirus pandemic forced the majority of the country into their homes, Target raised its wage for new employees. Target also made a $10 million commitment to social justice causes earlier this month.