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Target to permanently raise starting wage to $15 an hour

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MINNEAPOLIS — Target will permanently raise its starting wage for U.S. team members to $15 per hour beginning July 5. Additionally, the company said it will give a one-time recognition bonus of $200 to its frontline store and distribution center hourly workers for their efforts throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

Brian Cornell

Starting this week, Target said it is also offering free access to virtual doctor visits for all team members through the end of the year, regardless of whether they currently subscribe to a Target health care plan. The company also announced additional extensions of a 30-day paid leave for vulnerable team members, as well as free backup care for family members.

“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,” said Brian Cornell, chairman and chief executive officer of Target Corp. “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.”

Investment in Team Members

All U.S. hourly full-time and part-time team members at stores, distribution centers and headquarters locations will be eligible for the $15 starting wage, which is more than 25% higher than the U.S. industry average. Target set its 2020 goal of a $15 starting wage in September 2017, and over the last three years has increased wages from a starting wage of $11. The last starting-wage increase was in June 2019 to $13.

To recognize team members’ efforts to meet shopper needs during the coronavirus pandemic, Target said it was one of the first in the retail industry to offer a temporary wage increase of $2 and has kept the increase in place two months longer than originally announced.

The one-time $200 recognition bonus will be distributed at the end of July to eligible full-time and part-time hourly team members at both stores and distribution centers. This is on top of bonuses of $250$1,500 paid out in April to 20,000 hourly store team leads who oversee individual departments in Target stores.

With the changes announced Wednesday, Target said it will invest nearly $1 billion more this year in the wellbeing, health and safety of team members than it did in 2019, including increased wages, paid leaves, bonus payouts, personal protective equipment and a $1 million donation to the Target Team Member Giving Fund.

New and Extended COVID-19 Benefits

Target said it will also offer free access to health care through virtual doctor visits, regardless of whether team members currently subscribe to a Target health care plan. The offering is through the CirrusMD app and focuses on text-first virtual health care visits for team members to securely text, share images or video chat with a doctor. The platform will be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at no extra cost to U.S.-based team members until the end of December 2020, so they can conveniently and safely seek medical advice at a time of heightened focus on health and well-being.

Other benefits that will be extended include:

  • Vulnerable paid leave for team members who are 65 or older, pregnant or those with underlying medical conditions per the CDC. Eligible team members who have not yet used this one-time 30-day leave option will continue to have access to this benefit.
  • Free backup care for all U.S. team members through the end of August. The benefit provides access to childcare or care for another family member, and Target will continue to waive co-pays. By the end of August, team members will have been provided access to free backup care for their family members for more than five months. Care includes access to provider Bright Horizons’ center-based and in-home options for children or elder family members that live with team members.
  • Target will continue to waive its absenteeism policy and offer paid leave options for team members who are symptomatic, have a confirmed case of coronavirus, or have been quarantined due to exposure.
  • And, with the strains both of COVID-19 and social unrest, Target will continue to support team members’ mental health by offering free counseling sessions, along with new anxiety and sleep resources that have been made available to all team members.

“The most important investments we make are in our team. I have tremendous gratitude for the way our team members show up with such purpose and pride for our guests, communities and one another,” said Melissa Kremer, Target’s chief human resources officer. “These investments help ensure that team members can build meaningful careers, take care of themselves and their families and contribute to building our communities through their work inside and outside of Target.”


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