Target has announced plans to raise its hourly minimum wage beginning next month and will offer employees a one-time bonus and free access to virtual healthcare through the end of the year.
The Minneapolis-based retailer said beginning July 5, the starting wage at the company will be $15 per hour.
Current frontline store and distribution center hourly workers will also receive a $200 bonus "for their efforts throughout the coronavirus pandemic."
The company also announced that, beginning this week, all team members will be given free access to virtual doctors visits through the end of the year, regardless if they are part of the company's healthcare plan. Vulnerable employees will be given an additional 30 days of paid leave.
“In the best of times, our team brings incredible energy and empathy to our work, and in harder times they bring those qualities plus extraordinary resilience and agility to keep Target on the forefront of meeting the changing needs of our guests and our business year after year,” Brian Cornell, chairman and CEO of Target Corporation, said in a statement. “Everything we aspire to do and be as a company builds on the central role our team members play in our strategy, their dedication to our purpose and the connection they create with our guests and communities.”
The changes come just after Target announced it will recognize Juneteenth as an official company holiday.
The company said it plans to honor "the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States" and will give team members "space to honor Juneteenth in their own way. "
“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,” Brian Cornell, chairman and CEO of Target, said 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.”
Juneteenth, a portmanteau of June and nineteenth, is an annual celebration marking the end of the slavery in the U.S. The holiday commemorates a specific date — June 19, 1865, the day many enslaved people in Texas learned they had been freed.