Over 80 companies have publicly announced bonuses, wage increases or other kinds of benefits they’re offering employees since President Donald Trump signed tax reform into law on Dec. 22.
Walmart (WMT) is the latest to credit the lower corporate-tax rate as a reason to reinvest the saved capital into its workforce. The world’s largest private employer announced on Thursday it will increase the starting wage for its U.S. employees to $11. Currently, Walmart’s minimum wage is $9 (but bumped up to $10 after completing a six-month training program). While Walmart has hiked wages over the past few years, the timing of this particular announcement signals the company’s attempt to curry favor with Trump.
“Tax reform gives us the opportunity to be more competitive globally and to accelerate plans for the U.S.,” said Walmart CEO Doug McMillon.
In addition to wage increases, eligible Walmart employees will receive a one-time bonus of up to $1,000. And, full-time employees will receive 10 weeks of paid maternity leave and six weeks of paid parental leave (up from eight weeks and two weeks, respectively).
Also on Thursday, the company abruptly closed 63 Sam’s Club stores and laid off thousands of workers. 10 of the closed megastores will become e-commerce distribution centers.
Other companies have also been implementing this strategy of burying bad news amid the rollout of positive announcements. Take, for instance, AT&T (T), which laid off 600 employees at the same time as it announced bonuses for 200,000 workers.
Just last month, the big-box retailer announced it would allow its 1.44 million U.S. employees to access their paychecks before payday. The move was criticized as a loophole to avoid paying employees a higher wage. But perhaps the earlier announcement coupled with a wage hike can materially enhance employees’ lives.
According to a KeyBanc note to investors, Walmart helps set the “prevailing wages in retail.” Specifically citing the increase to $10 in 2016, the note explains how Walmart can set the tone for the retail sector at large. For example, the 2016 move to increase wages to $10 paved the way for competitors like Target (TGT) to raise hourly wages to $11 last year and commit to $15 per hour by the end of 2020.
Other companies lauding the tax plan
While Walmart’s announcement may be garnering the most buzz, given the company’s massive reach, it seems that every day another company is touting how it’s reinvesting the savings from a lower tax rate.
Strategas Partners managing partner Jason Trennert compiled a list of companies that have publicly announced higher wages, bonuses or other benefits post-tax cut.
There’s debate whether these corporate maneuvers are merely publicity stunts or are the first steps to helping employees— or both. Regardless, we should continue to expect more companies to follow suit.
Here’s a comprehensive list of companies and what they’re offering employees, post-tax cut, courtesy of Strategas Partners and original reporting. Industries range from airlines to wineries, promising everything from $1,000 bonuses to planting more vines.
- AT&T: $1k bonuses for 200,000 U.S. employees
- AAON: $1k bonuses for 2,000 employees
- AccuWeather: Year-end bonuses for 450-500 employees
- Aflac: Increase 401(k) match from 50% to 100% on the first 4% of compensation plus a one-time $500 contribution to every employee’s 401(k)
- American Airlines: $1k bonuses for ~127,600 employees
- American Bank: $1k bonuses for 60 employees
- American Savings Bank: $1k bonuses for 1,150 employees
- Americacollect: $300-$500 bonuses for 250 employees
- Aquesta Financial Holdings: $1k bonuses for 95 employees
- Associated Bank: $500 bonuses for all hourly employees
- BB&T: $1,200 bonuses for 27,000 employees
- Ball Ventures: $100 bonuses for each year worked for all employees
- Bank of America: $1k bonuses for 145,000 U.S. employees
- Bank of Hawaii: $1k bonuses for 2,074 employees
- Bank of the James: Increase base wage to $15 per hour for employees serving more than 1 year; increased employee vacation days
- Bank of the Ozarks: Incentive bonus plan for 2,300 employees of up to $1,200
- Boeing: $300 million for “workplace of the future” facilities, infrastructure, workforce development, charitable giving
- Canary LLC: Hire more employees
- Capital One: Raising minimum wage to $15
- Carl Black Automotive Group: Bonuses for 500 employees based on years of service
- Central Pacific Bank: $1k bonuses for 850 employees
- Citizens Bank: $1k bonuses for 12,500 employees
- Clayton Distillery: Upgrade facilities
- Comcast: $1k bonuses for 100,000 employees
- Comerica: $1k bonuses for 4,500 employees
- Commerce Bancshares: $1k bonuses for 3,450 full-time employees; $250 bonuses for eligible part-time employees
- Community Trust Bancorp: $1k bonuses for full-time employees; $500 bonuses for part-time employees
- Copperleaf Assisted Living: $200-$600 bonuses for 175 employees
- Dayton T. Brown: $400 bonuses for 210 employees
- Delaware Supermarkets: $150 extra bonuses for 1,000 non-management personnel
- Denizens Brewing Company: Reinvest tax savings into the business
- Emkay: $1k bonuses for full-time employees
- Ennis: $500 bonuses for 2,200 employees
- Express Employment Professionals: $2k bonuses for more than 200 non-executive employees
- Fifth Third Bancorp: $1k bonuses for 13,500 employees
- FirstCapital Bank of Texas: $500 bonuses for 197 employees
- First Farmers Bank and Trust: $750 bonuses for full-time employees
- First Financial Northwest: $1k bonuses for non-executive employees
- First Hawaiian Bank: $1,500 bonuses for 2,264 employees
- First Horizon National Corp.: $1k bonuses for 4,000 employees
- Gate City Bank: $1k bonuses for 538 non-management personnel
- Gulf Coast Bank & Trust: Increase base wage to $12 per hour
- HarborOne Bank: $500 bonuses for 600 employees
- IAT Insurance Group: $3k bonuses for 700 employees
- Inland Northwest Bank: $500 bonuses for 200 employees
- Kansas City Southern: $1k bonuses
- Melaleuca: $100 bonuses for each year worked for 2,000 employees
- National Bank Holdings Corporation: $1k bonuses for employees earning <$50k
- Nationwide: $1k bonuses for 29,000 employees
- Navient: $1k bonuses for ~6,566 employees
- Nelnet: $1k bonuses for 4,100 employees
- Nephron: 5% raise for 640 employees
- OceanFirst Bank: Increase base wage to $15 per hour
- Ohnward Bancshares: $1k bonuses for 260 employees
- Pinnacle Bank: $1k bonuses for 1,007 employees
- Pioneer Credit Recovery: $1k bonuses
- PNC Financial Services Group: $1k bonuses for 47,500 employees
- Regions Financial Corporation: Increase base wage to $15 per hour
- Royal Hawaiian Heritage Jewelry: Open more stores, hire more employees
- Rush Enterprises: $1k bonuses for 6,600 employees
- Sinclair Broadcast Group: $1k bonuses for 9,000 employees
- Southwest Airlines: $1k bonuses for 55,000 employees
- Stifel Financial: $1,500 bonuses for 7,000 employees
- Summit State Bank: $2k bonuses for 78 employees
- SunTrust: $1k incentive for employees that complete company’s financial fitness program
- TCF Financial: $1k bonuses for full-time employees; $500 bonuses for part-time employees earning less than $100k
- Territorial Savings Bank: $1k bonuses for 247 employees
- Texas Capital Bank: $1k bonuses
- Total System Services: $1k bonuses for 11,500 employees
- Travelers: $1k bonuses for 14,000 employees
- Turning Point Brands: $1k bonuses for 107 employees
- US Bancorp: $1k bonuses for 60,000 employees
- Unity Bancorp: $750 bonuses for all employees except executive management
- Walmart: Increase starting wage to $11; expand maternity and paternal leave benefits; one-time cash bonus for eligible associates of up to $1k
- Washington Federal: Provide 5% increase in addition to normal merit increase for employees earning <$100k; invest in employee training programs
- Waste Management: $2k bonuses to 34,000 eligible employees
- Wells Fargo: Increase base wage from $13.50 to $15 per hour
- Western Alliance: Increase wages 7.5% for the lowest-paid 50% of employees
- White Pine Winery: Planting more vines
- Windsor Federal: $250 bonuses for employees except senior management
- Yancey Bros.: $500 bonuses for all employees
- Zions Bancorp: $1k bonuses for 80% of employees