Target Makes Coronavirus Pay Raise Permanent, Setting Hourly Minimum Wage to $15 – With Extra Bonuses

Target stores announced yesterday that it will permanently raise its starting wage for U.S. team members to $15 per hour. Additionally, the company will give a one-time recognition bonus of $200.00 to its frontline store and distribution center hourly workers for their efforts during the coronavirus pandemic.

Additionally, starting this week, Target is also offering a new healthcare benefit that provides access to free virtual healthcare visits through the end of the year, regardless of whether team members are on a Target health insurance plan. The company also announced additional extensions of a 30-day paid leave for vulnerable team members, as well as free backup care for family members.

“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,” said Target CEO Brian Cornell in a statement. “Everything we aspire to do and be as a company builds on the central role our team members play.”

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The new minimum wage for U.S. hourly full-time and part-time team members at stores, distribution centers, and the firm’s headquarters, is up from $11 in 2017, and $13 set in June 2019.

Target was one of the first in the retail industry to offer a temporary wage increase of $2 and kept the increase in place two months longer than originally announced.

The one-time $200 recognition bonus will be distributed at the end of July to eligible full-time and part-time hourly team members at both stores and distribution centers. This is on top of bonuses of $250-$1,500 paid out in April to 20,000 hourly store team leads who oversee individual departments in Target stores.

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To fund the changes, Target will invest nearly $1 billion more this year in the well-being and health of workers than they did in 2019, which includes increased wages, paid leaves, bonus payouts, and personal protective equipment.

The new health benefit for 2020 is through the CirrusMD app, which offers virtual health care visits through text, sharing images, and video chats with a doctor. The platform will be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at no extra cost to U.S.-based team members until the end of December 2020, so they can conveniently and safely seek medical advice at a time of heightened focus on health and well-being.

Target will continue to waive its absenteeism policy and offer paid leave options for team members who are symptomatic, have a confirmed case of coronavirus, or have been quarantined due to exposure.

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And, with the strains both of COVID-19 and social unrest, Target will continue to support team members’ mental health by offering free counseling sessions, along with new anxiety and sleep resources that have been made available to all team members.

“I have tremendous gratitude for the way our team members show up with such purpose and pride,” said Melissa Kremer, Target’s Chief Human Resources Officer. “These investments help ensure that they can take care of themselves and their families.”

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