Walmart announced two new cash bonuses—one paid out on Thanksgiving Eve (Nov. 25) and the other to be paid on Christmas Eve (Dec. 24)—available to full- and part-time Walmart associates in the U.S. The bonuses are estimated to total about $707 million.
The November bonus, totaling $319 million, was issued as an incentive payout after a strong third quarter for the company, Walmart stated in a news release. The December bonus, estimated at $388 million, is being issued "in recognition of associates’ sustained commitment to customers during the pandemic," according to the release.
Approximately 1.5 million Walmart and Sam's Club associates will receive the Dec. 24 bonus, Walmart's fourth special cash bonus since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Previous special cash bonuses were issued in April ($368 million), June ($368 million) and August ($402 million).
Bonuses remain a hot topic among industry analysts and labor groups as COVID cases have surged across the country ahead of the holiday shopping season and as retailers post their latest quarterly results. In November, Dollar General announced it was boosting bonus pay for front-line workers, awarding an additional $50 million in bonuses during its fiscal fourth quarter. Target in October announced that more than 350,000 hourly employees would receive a new $200 bonus in the company's fourth round of bonus pay for front-line workers in 2020.
In its bonus announcement on Dec. 3, Walmart also extended the company's COVID emergency leave policy, which provides up to two weeks of pay for approved COVID-related absences, through July 5, 2021.