The nation’s largest retail chain announced this week that many of its employees will be receiving a one-time bonus payment and starting wages will be hiked across the board.
In a statement Thursday, Walmart became the latest in a string of large companies to announce financial incentives tied to the recent passage of a tax reform bill that significantly lowers the corporate tax rate.
According to Business Insider, eligible employees will receive a bonus of as much as $1,000 and hourly workers will make at least $11 per hour, up from the previous $9 base wage.
“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,” Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said in a statement announcing the new commitments, which are expected to impact at least 1 million employees across the U.S.
Those employees not affected by the wage hikes will reportedly be eligible for bonuses starting at $200 and tied to seniority.
Further benefits going into effect next month include assistance for parents in the form of expanded leave coverage and financial help for adoption.
Full-time hourly employees will qualify for up to 10 weeks of paid maternity leave or six weeks of paid parental leave.
Walmart will additionally offset by up to $5,000 the costs associated with adoption for its employees going through that process. The expanded leave coverage also applies to adoptive parents.
The corporate statement indicated that Walmart is still looking for additional ways to put the extra capital available through tax reform to good use for its staff and shoppers.
“However, some guiding themes are clear and consistent with how we’ve been investing — lower prices for customers, better wages and training for associates and investments in the future of our company, including in technology,” McMillon said.
Echoing the analysis of other corporate executives, he said the tax bill signed into law by President Donald Trump late last year will put his company in a better position to determine its own success.
“Tax reform gives us the opportunity to be more competitive globally and to accelerate plans for the U.S.,” he said.
Trump was quick to tout the news on Twitter.
As the Washington Examiner reported earlier this month, more than 100 companies announced some sort of employee incentive directly attributed to tax reform in the first few days after its passage.
Americans for Tax Reform Vice President of Communications John Kartch said his organization had been tracking the progression.
“Small businesses from across the country are sending me news of their tax-cut bonuses, wage hikes, and charitable donations,” he said. “Many of these were only announced internally. There is a broad and deep tsunami building.”
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