Press Release
| Bob Salera

Missouri’s biggest employer

Walmart is out with HUGE news today that it will raise the starting wage to $11 an hour, expand maternity and paternity benefits and give employees bonuses because of the Republican tax relief plan’s passage. With Walmart being the biggest employer in Missouri, does Claire McCaskill now regret voting against the tax relief plan that is having a real time positive impact on Missourians?

In case you missed it…

Walmart to raise its starting wage to $11, give some employees bonuses following tax bill passage
Lauren Thomas
January 11, 2018  

• Walmart is increasing its starting wage rate for hourly employees in the U.S. to $11, following the passage of new tax legislation.
• The company said it will also expand maternity and parental leave benefits, and provide a one-time cash bonus for eligible employees of as much as $1,000.
• Walmart said it’s still accessing other “potential additional investments” that could come after the new tax laws.

Walmart’s employees will soon reap the benefits of the recent tax law changes, as the company raises its starting wage, creates new benefits and distributes bonuses to eligible workers.

The big-box retailer announced Thursday it will be increasing its starting wage rate for hourly employees in the U.S. to $11, and is expanding maternity and parental leave benefits. Currently, Walmart’s starting wage is $9 until workers complete a training program. Then, they receive $10.

Walmart will also be paying a one-time cash bonus to eligible employees of as much as $1,000. The payouts, which should total roughly $400 million, will result in a one-time charge that the company will take in the fourth quarter of this year.

The bonuses will be determined by an employee’s length of service at the company. Those workers with more than 20 years of experience will qualify to receive the full $1,000. However, workers with two to four years of experience will receive $250, a Walmart spokesman told CNBC.

Employees with 15 to 19 years of service at Walmart will receive $750, while those with 10 to 14 years of work there will receive a $400 bonus, and five to nine years of experience merits a $300 bonus, he said.

The company is also creating a new benefit that provides financial assistance to its employees who are looking to adopt a child, giving them as much as $5,000 per child to cover expenses such as adoption agency fees, translation fees and legal costs.

“Tax reform gives us the opportunity to be more competitive globally and to accelerate plans for the U.S.,” CEO Doug McMillon said in a statement.

“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,” he added. “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.”

Walmart said the changes will benefit the retailer’s more than 1 million hourly employees across the country and will go into effect as soon as February. The wage increases are expected to be about $300 million incremental to what Walmart was already planning for the upcoming fiscal year.

Meanwhile, the company said it’s still accessing the new tax legislation and how it will benefit Walmart, which could lead to “potential additional investments.”

Walmart will share more details regarding other impacts when it reports quarterly earnings on Feb. 20.

The news comes after other companies such as Waste Management, Bank of America and JetBlue have made similar announcements, handing out bonuses to employees and citing the passage of tax legislation.

“Retailers have traditionally paid one of the highest effective corporate tax rates,” Sandy Kennedy, the president of the Retail Industry Leaders Association, said at the end of December, when House and Senate Republicans finally reached an agreement to resolve the differences between their tax overhaul bills.

“A fairer and more competitive tax code will give retailers the ability to modernize stores, invest in their workforce and continue to transform the shopping experience for consumers,” Kennedy said.