Walmart Announces $700M Bonus Round

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Walmart Inc. of Bentonville said Thursday it will pay out another round of employee bonuses, bringing its 2020 bonus tally to more than $2.8 billion.

The latest round of payments to the retailer’s 1.5 million full- and part-time hourly U.S. employees is worth $700 million. It includes $319 million in quarterly performance bonuses paid on Nov. 25 and an estimated $388 million in special cash bonuses that will be paid on Christmas Eve. Walmart and Sam’s Club workers will receive payments.

Part-time and temporary hourly workers will receive $150, and full-time hourly employees will get $300. Drivers, coaches and assistant managers will also receive a bonus, the retailer said. 

This is the fourth round of special bonuses the retailer is paying in 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic. While COVID-19 has tamped down activities in public places, big-box retailers like Walmart have seen sales boosts as customers increasingly rely on them for groceries and other essential goods.

Still, COVID-19 has been costly for the retailer. It reported $600 million in COVID-19-related expenses in its most recent quarter.

“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,” John Furner, president and CEO of Walmart U.S., said in a news release Thursday. “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.”

In addition, Walmart announced the extension of its COVID-19 emergency leave policy for part- and full-time employees through July 5.

The policy provides up to two weeks of pay should employees need to stay home for COVID-related reasons, including mandatory quarantines, symptoms or illness. If they’re not able to return to work after that time, additional pay replacement may be provided for up to 26 weeks. Absences associated with an approved COVID-19 leave will not be counted against employees, the retailer said.