Target extends $2 an hour pay raises through July 4
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Target told its employees Monday it was extending its $2 an hour pay raises through July 4 as the company continues to grapple with the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

Target pushed the end date of the pay raises for full-time and part-time employees two months later than originally announced, Target CEO Brian Cornell told employees in an email obtained by The Hill.

The company initially announced the pay raises for its 350,000 workers in stores and distribution centers on March 20 set to last until May 2. In late April, Target officials extended the pay raises through May 30. 

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Cornell told employees that the company's extension includes 30 days of paid leave, through the end of June, to employees who are 65 or older, pregnant or that have underlying health conditions.

He said in the email that the first quarter was “unlike anything I’ve seen — intense, volatile and stressful for our guests and the country.” 

"At the outset of the pandemic, we knew there was a long road ahead, that we would have to pace ourselves," Cornell said. "These pay and benefits extensions are intended to help you and your family do just that as we all continue to support each other and move forward."

Employee coalition Target Workers Unite told The Hill in a statement that the bonus pay is the $15 "Target promised to pay workers across the board over two years ago as part of their 'pathway to $15' initiative." 

"It's not hazard pay, it's a PR stunt to make it look like the executives are doing something for workers' interest at Target," the statement read. 

But Target spokeswoman Danielle Schumann said the retail company's move to raise minimum wage to $15 by the end of 2020 is separate from the $2 per hour pay raise announced Monday. She said the current pay raise "is intended to recognize the incredible work that our team continues to do during this unprecedented time."

Target, which has 1,900 stores and 41 distribution centers nationwide, is not the only retailer extending benefits and hazard pay to employees. 

Walmart announced last week it would give U.S. employees another round of cash bonuses, adding to more than $390 million, and its associates received quarterly bonuses a month early. Amazon also boosted its hourly pay and double overtime pay through May 30.

Supermarket chain Kroger announced it ended its $2 an hour bonus pay for the pandemic last week.

—Updated on May 19, 2:25 p.m.