Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Walmart (yes, Walmart) has now done more for worker rights than the U.S. government

Image by Sven via Wikimedia Commons
Earlier this month, Walmart announced sweeping additions to how it compensates its employees.
  • Effective 2/17/18, it will raise the minimum starting wage for all hourly U.S. employees to $11.
  • It is offering a one-time, $1,000 bonus to all full- and part-time U.S. employees.
  • It is expanding paid maternity leave for all full-time employees to 10 weeks, and paid parental leave to six weeks.
  • It is providing $5,000 (per child) in adoption assistance for all full-time employees.

These benefits, however, are not free. On the same day, Walmart also announced the closure of 63 Sam’s Club stores (you gotta pay for these somehow, right).

Harsh dose of reality aside, Walmart has officially moved the needle on both minimum wage and paid family leave. And other employers are going to have to react. To compete in the job market against Walmart, other companies will have to begin voluntarily offering a higher minimum wage and paid family leave. Thus, over time, they will spread to most employers nationwide.

Bravo, Walmart. You have now done more for worker rights than our federal government.