Rob
Walton with Walmart eCommerce employees at the company’s annual
shareholders meeting in Fayetteville, Arkansas, in
2014.
REUTERS/Rick
Wilking

  • Walmart says it is raising hourly pay to $11 from $9 as
    a result of the new US tax law.
  • It’s also offering employees a one-time cash bonus of
    up to $1,000, expanded maternity and parental-leave benefits,
    and assistance with adoption expenses.
  • The company says the changes will affect more than 1
    million of its US employees.

Walmart is raising starting wages for hourly employees to $11 and
offering a one-time cash bonus of up to $1,000, the company said
Thursday. 

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

Previously, Walmart’s starting pay was $9 for all hourly
employees, or $10 for those who completed a training
program. 

The wage and benefit changes will take effect in February and
impact more than one million Walmart employees in the US, the
company said.

Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said the changes are a direct result of
recent tax law changes. 

“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,” McMillon said in a statement.
“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.”

“Tax reform gives us the opportunity to be more competitive
globally and to accelerate plans for the US,” he added.

The cash bonus will go to employees that don’t benefit from
the new wage increases — meaning they are already paid more than
$11. It will range from $200 to $1,000 depending on workers’
length of employment with Walmart. 

The new parental leave benefits include 10 weeks of paid
maternity leave and six weeks of paid parental leave for
full-time hourly associates. That benefit will also go to parents
who adopt. 

Additionally, Walmart will contribute $5,000 toward the
cost of adoption for its workers.

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