Walmart is serving up more than $700 million in special and quarterly cash bonuses to its U.S.-based associates, with over half of the total being paid in recognition of workers’ extra efforts during the COVID-19 crisis.
Bentonville, Ark.-based Walmart said Thursday that it will pay $388 million in special cash bonuses on Dec. 24 to about 1.5 million full- and part-time Walmart U.S. and Sam’s Club hourly associates in stores, clubs, distribution centers and fulfillment centers for their “sustained commitment to customers during the pandemic.” Part-time and temporary hourly workers will get $150, while full-time hourly associates will receive $300.
More than 60% of Walmart’s hourly associates are full-time, the company noted, adding that drivers, coaches and assistant managers will receive a special cash bonus as well. The special bonus represents the fourth that Walmart has issued to U.S. employees since the start of the pandemic in March.
Walmart also announced that it paid associates $319 million in quarterly bonuses in their Nov. 25 paychecks for their contributions to the company’s strong third-quarter business performance. Full and part-time associates are eligible for both bonuses.
“As we come to a close on this historic year, I’m filled with gratitude for how our associates have led through one of the most trying periods for our company and country,” Walmart U.S. President and CEO John Furner said in a statement. “Our associates have stepped up to serve our customers, communities and each other when it was truly needed most, and we’re pleased to recognize their efforts with a quarterly bonus for strong store performance and a fourth special cash bonus.”
Walmart said the $707 million in special and quarterly bonus payments brings its total for the year to over $2.8 billion. The previous round of special cash bonuses, paid in August, totaled about $428 million.
“This has been an extraordinary year, and we’re so proud of how our associates have continued to make a meaningful difference in our communities,” stated Kath McLay, president and CEO of Sam’s Club. “Today’s bonus reflects our appreciation for our associates, who show up to work each day to serve and provide relief for millions of members across the country.”
Also on Thursday, Walmart unveiled an extension of its COVID-19 employee leave policy to July 5, 2021. The company said the move reflects the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, which in the U.S. has seen a resurgence nationwide as total COVID-19 cases have topped 14 million and deaths from the virus have surpassed 275,000.
Walmart’s COVID-19 emergency leave program provides part-time and full-time associates with up to two weeks of pay in the event that they need to stay home for COVID-related reasons, including mandated quarantines, symptoms or illness. If unable to return to work after that time span, employees may receive additional pay replacement for up to 26 weeks. Absences related to approved COVID-19 leave aren’t counted against associates, Walmart added.