Target extends $2-an-hour pay increase for workers through July 4

Target is extending its $2-an-hour temporary bonus pay for full-time and part-time employees into the summer as companies across the country grapple with the economic and social impacts of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Target CEO Brian Cornell told employees on Monday that the extension will last through July 4, two months longer than originally announced.

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The $2 temporary wage increase was first announced March 20 for the company’s 350,000-plus workers at stores and distribution centers, scheduled to last through at least May 2. It was later extended through May 30 in a continuing effort to recognize the “significant contributions of front line team members.”

The latest extension also encompasses other COVID-19 related benefits the company has offered, including 30 days paid leave to employees who are 65 years or older, pregnant or have underlying health conditions through the end of June.

In an email to employees, Cornell wrote that the first quarter was “unlike anything I’ve seen – intense, volatile and stressful for our guests and the country.”

“At the outset of the pandemic, we knew there was a long road ahead, that we would have to pace ourselves. These pay and benefits extensions are intended to help you and your family do just that as we all continue to support each other and move forward,” Cornell said.

The Minneapolis-based retailer has nearly 1,900 stores and 41 distribution centers across the country.

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People practice social distancing waiting in line to enter a Target store on April 13, 2020 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Target is among a number of big retailers who have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in extended benefits and hazard pay for its workers amid the global pandemic.

Walmart said last week it will give its U.S. hourly employees another round of cash bonuses, adding up to more than $390 million. The company also provided scheduled quarterly bonuses for associates a month early.

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Amazon also extended its increased hourly pay to employees through May 30, as well as its double overtime pay in the U.S. and Canada. The company said it has has invested nearly $800 million in the first half of the year on COVID-19 safety measures, including higher wages for hourly employees, enhanced cleaning of its facilities and more.

Kroger, meanwhile, ended its $2-an-hour bonus to employees last week, which it started offering in April.

This story was reported from Cincinnati.