Target announces pay raises, bonuses and new paid leave policy amid coronavirus

Target announces pay raises, bonuses and new paid leave policy amid coronavirus
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Target announced Friday that it would give employees a $2-per-hour pay raise, rolling out new benefits and bonuses as its staffers work to keep shelves stocked during the coronavirus pandemic.

In a press release, the company said it would give the raise to staff until at least May 2, making its new minimum wage $15 per hour. Target also said 20,000 hourly workers who manage individual departments within stores would be given bonuses between $250 and $1,500. 

Target follows companies such as Amazon and Walmart, which have increased wages or given bonuses in recent days, as retail firms face a surge in shoppers as Americans stock up on essentials so they can quarantine and self-isolate as the coronavirus spreads.

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According to Target, it's investing a total of $300 million in new initiatives to compensate and thank employees who are facing major crowds and still coming into work during the pandemic. 

“We continue to experience incredible demand across our business, and Target’s ability to help our guests in this unprecedented time would not be possible without the strength of our team. I am proud and humbled by the dedication and humanity they show to our guests every day,” CEO Brian Cornell said in the press release. “Increasing their compensation for a job incredibly well done and ensuring continued compensation for those who need to care for themselves and their families is a reflection of our company’s values and simply the right thing to do.”

On top of the pay raise and bonuses, the company also announced a new paid leave option for staff who have underlying health conditions or who are 65 or older. Under the plan, those employees would be able to take 30 days paid leave so they can stay home.

Target also announced a $10 million donation to fund coronavirus relief efforts spread out to multiple different organizations both local and national.  

There are now reportedly more than 13,000 cases of COVID-19 in the United States. Cities and states across the country are issuing shelter-in-place or similar orders instructing people to stay at home and minimize social contact to prevent the illness from spreading at a rate that would surpass the nation's hospital capacity.