The federal minimum wage has remained at $7.25 per hour for the past decade, but some major companies have taken it upon themselves to up their lowest wage earners’ compensation to more than double that. Some companies, like Target and Costco, have already enacted this change, while others have made plans to gradually increase wages in the coming years.
Healthcare company Aetna has been paying its U.S. hourly wage workers a minimum of $16 per hour since 2015.
Amazon raised its starting wage for all U.S. employees to at least $15 an hour in 2018.
“We’ve seen the positive impact this has had on our employees, their families and their communities,” the company stated on its website. “Since then, we’ve been lobbying Congress to increase the federal minimum wage.”
Bank of America
Bank of America’s minimum wage was already $17 in May 2019, and less than a year later, the financial company raised it again, the Charlotte Business Journal reported. Bank of America began paying its workers a minimum of $20 an hour as of March 2020.
Ben & Jerry’s
Ben & Jerry’s recalculates its minimum wage each year; it reached $18.13 in 2020.
“We’re committed to paying all of our Ben & Jerry’s Vermont full-time workers a livable wage — enough to allow for a quality of life that includes decent housing, health care, transportation, food, recreation, savings and miscellaneous expenses,” the company states on its site. “Every year, we recalculate the livable wage to make sure it’s keeping up with the actual cost of living in Vermont.”
Best Buy’s minimum wage rose to $15 per hour in August 2020.
“Today’s announcement on pay reflects an ongoing evolution and investment in how we compensate [our front-line employees] for their critical work and is the result of clear and consistent feedback from field employees across the country,” Best Buy CEO Corie Barry said in a press release announcing the pay increase.
Charter Communications established a $15 minimum wage in 2018. In April 2020, the company announced that it would permanently raise its minimum starting wage to $20 an hour in 2022, with annual increases of $1.50 an hour in 2020 and 2021. It reached its $18 minimum wage milestone in March.
Global health service company Cigna established a minimum wage for its U.S. employees of $16 an hour in 2018.
On Feb. 25, Costco announced that it would be raising its minimum wage to $16 for its U.S. workers.
“Two years ago, we moved our starting hourly wage to $15 everywhere in the U.S. Effective next week, the starting wage will go to $16,” Costco CEO Craig Jelinek said during a Senate budget committee hearing, CNBC reported.
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In 2018, Walt Disney World reached an agreement with a group of unions to raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour by October 2021, Money reported.
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Facebook raised its minimum wage for contract workers in 2015 to $15 per hour, Reuters reported. The social media giant raised its minimum wage again in 2019, to $20 per hour in the San Francisco Bay Area, New York and Washington D.C., and to $18 per hour in Seattle.
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Fifth Third Bank
Fifth Third Bancorp — the parent company of Fifth Third Bank, which has locations in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Florida, Tennessee, West Virginia, Georgia and North Carolina — raised its minimum wage to $18 per hour in 2019.
In 2019, Google began requiring that U.S. vendor and temporary workers receive a $15 minimum wage, HR Dive reported.
JPMorgan Chase has a $16.50 minimum wage for its entry-level jobs. In some areas, its minimum wage is $18 to account for a higher cost of living.
Santander Bank increased its minimum hourly wage to $15 in 2018.
“Our people are our greatest asset,” Scott Powell, then-CEO of Santander US, said in a press release at the time. “We have a long-standing commitment to investing in our employees and paying them fairly and competitively. They are on the front lines every day working to build strong, lasting relationships with our customers and I am pleased to be able to reward them for their dedication and hard work.”
In an open letter to Congress, Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson announced in December 2020 that the company plans to establish a minimum wage of $15 an hour over the next couple of years.
“More than 30% of our U.S. retail partners are currently at or above $15/hour, and we continue on our path to ensure all U.S. partners will be making at or above $15/hour within the coming two to three years,” the letter stated.
In July 2020, Target raised its starting wage for U.S. team members to $15 per hour. The retailer had set a goal in 2017 to raise its wage to $15 over the next three years from its starting wage of $11.
Wayfair raised its minimum wage to $15 an hour in January.
“Throughout the challenges of the past year, we rolled out numerous initiatives to support our team including pay premiums, bonuses and a family dinner program. Now, as we enter 2021, we are continuing to build upon our steadfast commitment to our team and their families by increasing minimum pay for all hourly employees,” Niraj Shah, CEO, co-founder and co-chairman of Wayfair, said in a press release.
In March 2020, Wells Fargo announced that it would raise its minimum wage to at least $15 for all employees by the end of the year. The minimum wage is now as high as $20 for employees in high-cost areas.