Target Corp. is incentivizing employees to get COVID-19 vaccinations by offering extra pay and a ride.
Minneapolis-based Target said Wednesday that hourly frontline employees receiving coronavirus shots will get up to four hours of pay, reflecting two hours for each dose. In addition, all U.S.-based employees can get free Lyft rides to and from their vaccine appointments, covering up to $15 each way.
Target noted that it’s working with partner CVS Health — which operates more than 1,700 CVS Pharmacy locations inside Target stores — to help administer COVID vaccines. The discount store chain said that CVS will determine vaccination availability at the Target locations based on U.S. Department of Health and Human Services allocations of doses and state timing and prioritization for frontline and essential workers to receive the vaccine.
Employees can get COVID immunizations at a local pharmacy, clinic, health care provider, or a state- or city-run event, Target reported. The company said its human resources team also is working to ensure that any fees related to the vaccination are covered for all workers wherever they receive the vaccine.
Target added that employees won’t be required to get a COVID vaccination to come to work. The retailer is referring associates to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website for more information on coronavirus vaccines and availability.
“Taking care of our team has been at the heart of every decision we’ve made since the coronavirus started, and this point in the pandemic is no different,” Target Chief Human Resources Officer Melissa Kremer said in a statement. “As more vaccines become available, especially for frontline and essential workers, we’ll help our team members across the country get the information and access they need. As we have for the past year, we’ll continue to invest in our team’s pay and benefits so they can take care of themselves, each other and our guests.”
To help drive COVID-19 vaccinations, Target also is contributing to education and local community partnerships. For example, the company said it’s making a donation to the Ad Council to support efforts to educate the public and raise confidence in the vaccine, with a focus on reaching communities of color, which were hit especially hard by the pandemic.
In late January, Target announced a $200 million investment in employee recognition bonuses across its operations. That includes $500 bonuses to all hourly workers in stores, distribution centers, and corporate and field-based offices as well as bonuses of $1,000 to $2,000 for directors, executive team leaders and salaried distribution center leaders. The investment marked the fifth time that Target has paid bonuses to frontline workers or team leaders since the COVID-19 outbreak. In mid-June, Target unveiled plans to permanently raise its starting hourly wage to $15, effective July 5, through an upgraded and extended pay and benefits package for its U.S. workforce.
Also on Wednesday, Target's Shipt same-day delivery subsidiary launched the Vaccine Payment Program, which enables its personal shoppers to apply for up to $50 in stipends for receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.
Active Shipt shoppers — those who have delivered 10 or more orders during the 30 days before vaccination) can receive a $25 stipend for each dose. The stipend is available, with proof of vaccination, through at least June 1, according to Birmingham, Ala.-based Shipt. The company said it's also working with its headquarters employees to remove barriers to getting the vaccine during working hours, and hourly workers will be given paid time off to receive vaccine doses.
"To us, making it easier for active Shipt shoppers to take the time they need to get the COVID-19 vaccine is just one more way we can support their well-being, keep our communities safe and assist the vaccine rollout as we all work to end the pandemic," Shipt CEO Kelly Caruso said in a statement. "We remain committed to doing our part in encouraging Shipt shoppers and employees to take the steps they can to help us all move forward as a country," she added. "As COVID-19 vaccine distribution plans continue to rapidly evolve and change, we will continue to evaluate the duration of this program and inform Shipt Shoppers accordingly."