Target raising minimum wage to $15, announces bonuses for front-line workers

The company said new wages are effective July 5.

June 17, 2020, 3:20 PM

Target announced on Wednesday that, effective July 5, its minimum starting wage for U.S. employees will increase to $15 an hour.

The retail giant's previous minimum starting wage was $13, compared with the federally mandated $7.25. The company said about 250,000 workers will see an increase in pay, with all full-time and part-time employees at stores, distribution centers and headquarters locations eligible.

Target also announced it would offer a $200 one-time bonus to "frontline store and distribution center hourly workers for their efforts throughout the coronavirus pandemic." That bonus will be distributed at the end of July.

PHOTO: In this Dec. 15, 2019, file photo, a Target retail store is shown in San Ramon, Calif.
In this Dec. 15, 2019, file photo, a Target retail store is shown in San Ramon, Calif.
Smith Collection/Gado via Getty Images, FILE

Target said the company previously handed out bonuses ranging from $250 to $1,500 in April to 20,000 hourly team leaders at stores.

Some economists have partly attributed starkly different COVID-19 health outcomes -- Latinos, blacks and Native Americans all are at least 3.5 times as likely to he hospitalized, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention -- to the disproportionate percentage of minorities deemed "essential workers."

The CDC also noted that some racial and ethnic groups make up a large share of the essential workers, including that nearly a quarter of employed Hispanic and black or African American workers are employed in service industry jobs compared to 16% of non-Hispanic whites.

Melissa Kremer, Target's Chief Human Resources Officer, said in a statement that "the most important investments we make are in our team. … 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."

Target did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment regarding how many employees had been infected with COVID-19.

ABC News' Catherine Thorbecke contributed to this report.

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