More than 1.2 million Walmart U.S. and Sam’s Club associates will receive a pay increase under the second phase of the company’s two-year, $2.7 billion investment in workers, to a minimum of $10 an hour, the company announced Wednesday.
The pay raise, which takes effect Feb. 20, will benefit the majority of the retailer’s 14,700 Puerto Rico employees. On that date, some 9,000 local workers will receive see a basic salary rate increase to an average of $10.71 an hour, from the current average of $10.26. The remaining employee base is already above the $10 hourly pay rate, this media outlet confirmed.
Walmart is also implementing new short-term disability and simplified paid time off (PTO) programs. The combined changes will expand support for associates dealing with extended health issues and provide associates greater control over their paid time away from work.
The pay raise comes a few days after Walmart confirmed the closing of 269 stores nationwide, including seven in Puerto Rico.
The salary changes taking effect push the salaries of all associates hired before Jan. 1, 2016 to at least $10 an hour. New entry-level associates hired after Jan. 1 will continue to start at $9 an hour and will move to at least $10 an hour after successfully completing the company’s new retail skills and training program known as “Pathways.”
Associates already earning more than $10 an hour will receive an annual pay increase in February, rather than waiting until their anniversary date. Walmart is raising the starting rate of its non-entry level hourly pay bands. Anyone earning below the new minimum will automatically move up to the new minimum.
Associates at or above their pay band maximum will receive a one-time lump sum payment equal to 2 percent of their annual pay. When these changes go into effect, Walmart’s average full-time hourly wage will be $13.38 an hour. The average part-time hourly wage will be $10.58 an hour.
Meanwhile, Walmart and Sam’s Club are launching a new, simplified PTO policy, effective March 5, 2016 that will streamline paid vacation, sick time, personal time and holiday time into one category. And the one-day wait to use sick time will be eliminated. When the plan rolls out in March, both full- and part-time associates will earn PTO based on tenure and hours worked.
In addition to PTO, Walmart is providing a new, Short Term Disability Basic plan at no cost to full-time hourly associates.