Attention, Walmart shoppers: The big box chain is upping its starting hourly wage to $11, broadening paid parental leave, and rewarding eligible employees with one-time bonuses of up to $1,000.
Company officials credit the , which was signed into law Dec. 22, for the decision. Walmart is expected to "reap a windfall" from the bill, according to , which drops the U.S. corporate tax rate to 21 percent down from 35 percent.
"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," Walmart president and CEO Doug McMillon said in a statement.
According to , this is the second time in two years that Walmart has increased its minimum wage, which previously went from $9 to $10. Target, meanwhile, made its starting hourly rate $11 last fall, promising to eventually reach $15 an hour. Both companies exceed the federal minimum wage of $7.25.
The retailer also plans to offer full-time hourly employees up to 10 weeks paid maternity leave, an increase from its previous policy of six to eight weeks at half pay.
Other full-time workers who become parents, including new fathers and non-birthing mothers, will be eligible for six weeks of paid parental leave. There was no such policy in place before.
Walmart also plans to offer financial assistance to full-time hourly and salaried employees who are in the process of adopting children.
The changes will take effect in February and will affect more than 1 million Walmart workers nationwide.