Wal-Mart wants to make sure its employees who take time off to serve in the military never have to take a pay cut. The company on Tuesday announced a new pay policy for all full-time and part-time workers who leave for voluntary or involuntary military assignments. Wal-Mart's pledge is to cover the difference in pay any time an employee's military salary is less than what he or she makes working at the store. So even when a worker is on a military assignment, they're now guaranteed to earn at least as much as they would working as a civilian at Wal-Mart. The policy covers any military assignment longer than three days.
Total Retail's Take: It's been a good couple of weeks for the world's largest retailer. Last week we reported that Wal-Mart's e-commerce sales increased 63 percent in its most recent fiscal quarter, providing hope that it's making inroads in its battle with Amazon.com, and now the company does the right thing by ensuring its workers who also serve in the military are fully compensated when they have to leave to serve our country. This adjustment to Wal-Mart's pay policy for its rank-and-file store workers follows a bump in salary in February 2016, as well as the decision in January to shorten a training program that new store workers must finish before they can get a raise. Furthermore, Wal-Mart has made the hiring of veterans a key initiative. The retailer has promised to hire 250,000 veterans who have been honorably discharged from service by the end of 2020. We'll see if Wal-Mart can capitalize on the good vibes surrounding the company right now and carry the momentum into the second half of the year.