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Target permanently raising hourly minimum wage to $15

Target on Wednesday announced that it will permanently raise its minimum wage for workers by $2 to $15 per hour starting next month.

The retail giant said in a statement the wage hike will go into effect on July 5 and that it will also offer a one-time “recognition bonus” of $200 to “frontline store and distribution center hourly workers” for their work during the coronavirus pandemic. 

“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 Target on the forefront of meeting the changing needs of our guests and our business year after year,” said Brian Cornell, chairman and CEO of Target Corporation.

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“Everything we aspire to do and be as a company builds on the central role our team members play in our strategy, their dedication to our purpose and the connection they create with our guests and communities.” 

Target first announced in 2017 that it would raise its starting wage to $15 by the end of 2020 and has already bumped pay in March due to the pandemic. The increase was scheduled to expire on July 4 but will now be permanent. 

The company said the new policy will impact 275,000 workers.

Target is also offering its employees free access to virtual doctor visits through the end of 2020 regardless of if they are on the company’s health care plan and said it will “invest nearly $1 billion more this year in the well-being, health and safety of team members than it did in 2019.” 

The announcement comes as retailers have been pressed to bump pay for low-wage employees working during the pandemic and putting themselves at risk.