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Sunday, Oct 20, 2019
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Target boosts benefits to store workers, including paid family leave

Target Corp. said Monday it would beef up benefits it offers its full- and part-time hourly workers, including paid family leave to care for a child or aging parent and backup child care.

The move comes as retailers try to attract workers in a tightening labor market, and as their business model changes to respond to an increase in digital shopping.

"Our workforce, like the communities we serve, is multigenerational, and our team members face growing caregiving responsibilities including infants, children, spouses, domestic partners and aging parents," Target said in announcing the changes.

The company said it would:

- Institute a new paid family leave policy that would include care for a child, spouse or parent beginning June 30. Target said the new policy doubles paid leave from two weeks to four weeks and includes leave for birth, adoption, surrogacy or foster placement.

- Extend a program to allow up to 20 days of what it called "affordable backup care solutions" for child care and elder care to include workers at its stores and distribution centers starting this fall.

- Reimburse hourly and salaried workers up to $10,000 for adoption and surrogacy fees to cover such costs as application, filing, placement fees, court costs and attorney fees. The retailer said this doubles the previous amount, which it has offered for more than a decade.

"Retail workforces are unique in their mix of hourly and salaried positions, and one of our philosophies is to offer the same family-focused benefits to both hourly and salaried team members," Melissa Kremer, Target's chief human resources officer, said in the announcement.

Target Corp. inched its base pay to $12 an hour ahead of last year's holiday season and said it will hit $15 an hour for all of its workers by the end of 2020.

Amazon raised its minimum wage to $15 an hour last October and Costco Wholesale matched it in March.

Walmart's starting wage for hourly employees is $11. The nation's largest retailer last week announced a sweeping new education benefit in which it will cover the costs of tuition, books and fees. Employees with be required to pay $1 a day for the duration of their studies.

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