Target is making more moves to better support its associates, including a permanent raise to its minimum wage, access to new healthcare services, and recognizing Juneteenth as an official company holiday.
Beginning July 5, the retailer will raise its starting wage to $15 per hour, achieving its 2017 commitment to reach that figure by the end of this year. Target has increased its hourly page in $1 increments over the last three years.
All front-line store and distribution center employees will also receive a new one-time bonus of $200 as thanks for working during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In recognizing Juneteeth — the day commemorating the end of slavery in the U.S. — Target headquarters will close, and employee have the option of taking the day off with full pay. Those who choose to work will receive time and a half.
“We recognize that the racial trauma the country is experiencing now is not new, but throughout recent weeks there has been a sense that this time is, and has to be, different,” said Brian Cornell, chairman and CEO, Target, in a statement. “Juneteenth takes on additional significance in this moment. Moving now to recognize it on an annual basis — as a day to celebrate, further educate ourselves or connect with our communities — is one more important action Target can take as a company to help the country live up to the ideal of moving forward in a new way.”
Upon the killing of George Floyd earlier this month in its hometown, Target has made public commitments to support anti-racism initiatives. This includes allocating $10 million to advance social justice and support local rebuilding and recovery efforts.
“Target stands with Black families, communities and team members,” said Cornell. “As we face an inflection point in Minneapolis and across the country, we’re listening to our team, guests and communities, committed to using our size, scale and resources to help heal and create lasting change.”
June also marks Pride Month, and this year Target is showing its support for the LGBTQ+ community via an internal program with online panels, associate testimonials and videos, among other things. It’s also donating $100,000 to GLSEN to further the group’s mission of creating inclusion and safety for all.
Target is now also providing employees free access to virtual doctor visits even if they’re not currently subscribed to a Target health care plan. It continues to wave its absenteeism policy and paid leave options for ill, quarantined or symptomatic employees, and it’s also offering free counseling sessions and anxiety and sleep resources.
The company has invested an additional $1 billion in employee health and safety benefits vs. 2019.