Originally Published: January 28, 2018 6 a.m.
Walmart’s recent announcement that it would increase the starting wage rate for all hourly workers in the U.S. to $11 and increase some benefits, will mean more money for one million hourly employees, including more than 21,000 Walmart associates in Arizona.
A Walmart consultant estimated that would mean about two-thirds of the company's 34,000 employees could expect some increase, meaning about 21,000 people. The consultant said it was impossible at this stage to know how many employees from the Prescott region would benefit.
The company said it would expand maternity and parental leave benefits and provide a one-time cash bonus for eligible employees of up to $1,000; it said it would also create a new benefit to assist workers with adoption expenses.
“Today’s announcement means more than 21,000 Arizona Walmart and Sam’s Club employees will receive a pay increase, bonus or both — along with expanded parental leave benefits. This action, in part made possible by federal tax reform, will strengthen Arizona communities and our larger economy,” said Glenn Hamer, president and CEO of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry. “We thank Walmart for its leadership as it invests in its most important resource: its employees.”
The company said, broadly, associates in Arizona will get:
• A one-time bonus benefiting all eligible full and part-time hourly associates in the U.S. The amount of the bonus will be based on length of service, with associates with at least 20 years qualifying for $1,000.
• An increase in Walmart’s starting wage rate to $11 per hour, effective mid-February. The change is in addition to wage increases already planned for many U.S. markets in the coming fiscal year. The increase applies to all hourly employees in the U.S. More than 15,000 Walmart and Sam’s Club associates in Arizona are expected to receive a wage increase, which is estimated to total more than $10 million worth of increased pay this year.
Walmart’s new average hourly wage for full-time associates in Arizona will be $14.09, the company said.
• An expanded parental and maternity leave policy, providing full-time hourly associates in the U.S. with 10 weeks of paid maternity leave and six weeks of paid parental leave. Salaried associates will also receive six weeks of paid parental leave, the company said.
• Walmart will provide financial assistance to associates adopting a child. The adoption benefit, available to both full-time hourly and salaried associates, will total $5,000 per child and may be used for expenses such as adoption agency fees, translation fees and legal or court costs, the company said.