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Walmart Raises Minimum Wage to $11, Dishes Out $1,000 Bonuses

Walmart, the world’s largest retailer and largest private employer, is hopping on the bandwagon of raising employee wages and giving bonuses in the wake of tax reform.

The company is also expanding maternity and paternal leave benefits, and raising the retailer’s minimum wage to an amount 52% higher than the federal minimum.

According to CNBC, “the big-box retailer announced Thursday it will be increasing its starting wage rate for hourly employees in the U.S. to $11.”

The company currently starts employees at $9 during training (a 3-6 month period), and then $10 after.

More from the report: “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 one-time bonuses are based on seniority in Walmart’s case, unlike the other companies announcing bonuses. For one to be eligible for the full $1,000, they’ll have to have been an employee for at least 20 years. Walmart has 80,000 employees who meet this criteria. For other levels of seniority, the increases are as follows: 15-19 years, $750; 10-14 years, $400; 5-9 years, $300.

The report continues: “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.”

This comes after last night’s news that Waste Management would also be giving bonuses thanks to tax reform. In their case, they’re giving out $2,000 in special (i.e. additional) bonuses to 34,000 employees.

This is all happening because of the tax reform bill’s slashing of the corporate tax rate. Back in 2012, NPR asked a group of economists all along the ideological spectrum to propose six economic reforms they could all agree on. One was to “eliminate the corporate tax rate…. completely.” They added “don’t tax ordinary people in an attempt to tax rich people.” The logic behind their thinking is simple: Taxing corporations essentially takes money away from companies, which were otherwise going to invest in capital. It also discourages domestic investment and encourages companies to invest overseas where the tax climate is more business-friendly.

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