More than 1.2 million Walmart U.S. and Sam’s Club associates will receive a pay increase under the second phase of the company’s two-year, $2.7 billion investment in workers.
The pay raise, which takes effect February 20th, will be one of the largest single-day, private-sector pay increases ever, according to Walmart officials.
Walmart is also implementing new short-term disability and simplified paid time off (PTO) programs. The combined changes will expand support for associates dealing with extended health issues and provide associates greater control over their paid time away from work.
“We are committed to investing in our associates and to continuing to simplify our business. When we do so, there is no limit to what our associates can accomplish,” said Judith McKenna, chief operating officer for Walmart U.S. “Our customers and associates are noticing a difference. We’re seeing strong increases in both customer experience and associate engagement scores. Five straight quarters of positive comps in our U.S. business is just one example of how helping our associates grow and succeed helps the company do the same.”
This associate investment was taken into account in the financial outlook discussed last October at the company’s annual analyst meeting.
Below are details from Walmart officials:
A job at Walmart means competitive pay for all associates. Every year, the company promotes 160,000 associates to jobs with higher pay and more responsibility and last year Walmart converted more than 150,000 associates from part-time to full-time. On February 20th, 2016, the company will implement one of the largest single-day, private-sector pay increases ever, benefiting more than 1.1 million hourly associates. The changes taking effect include:
Walmart and Sam’s Club are launching a new, simplified PTO policy, effective March 5, 2016 that will streamline paid vacation, sick time, personal time and holiday time into one category. And the one- day wait to use sick time will be eliminated, as promised. When the plan rolls out in March, both full- and part-time associates will earn PTO based on tenure and hours worked. The plan includes:
In addition to PTO, Walmart is providing a new, Short Term Disability Basic plan at no cost to full- time hourly associates. Effective January 1st, 2016, the plan offers more financial protection to workers who need to be away from work for an extended period of time due to their own medical needs such as an illness, injury or having a baby. The basic plan will pay 50 percent of a worker’s average weekly wage, up to $200, for up to 26 weeks. Walmart is also offering a Short Term Disability Enhanced plan, which costs less than the company’s prior voluntary plan and provides more coverage. Associates would receive up to 60 percent of their average weekly wage with no weekly maximum for up to 26 weeks.
Walmart’s associate investment is about more than wages and benefits: it is designed to provide associates the tools they need to grow with the company and provide great customer service. The company is also creating new training programs, which will create clear career paths from entry-level positions to jobs with more responsibility and higher pay.
This announcement comes after Walmart announced on January 15th 154 stores in the United States would close.
That includes four stores in the Milwaukee area, affecting nearly 500 workers: