Good job: Target has permanently raised its employee minimum wage to $15 an hour
via Mike Mozart / Flickr

Target has announced that it will raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour beginning July 5. The decision makes good on a promise it made three years ago to raise its starting rate to $15 an hour by 2020.

The move will impact over 275,000 employees in its distribution centers and retail stores.

Target's decision comes after many of America's larger retailers gave their employees temporary raises for working through the COVID-19 pandemic. However, many of those stores, including Starbucks, Kroger, and Amazon have done away with their pandemic raises over the past few weeks.

On March 25, Target moved its starting wage temporarily to $15 an hour after the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. Now, it's made the decision permanent.


In addition to the raise in its starting wage, Target will give a $200 "recognition bonus" to workers on its front lines as well as additional perks including on-demand fitness classes, back up child and family care, free doctor visits, and thermometers.

"Everything we aspire to do and be as a company builds on the central role our team members play in our strategy, their dedication to our purpose and the connection they create with our guests and communities," CEO Brian Cornell said in a statement.

Target's decision comes at a time when the Federal minimum wage is woefully behind at just $7.25 an hour and hasn't been raised since 2009. Currently, 29 states and the District of Columbia have minimum wages above $7.25. Washington D.C.'s is $14 per hour while California and Washington have the highest state minimum wages at $13 per hour.

The $15 minimum wage is a special figure in the fight against poverty in America. In 2012, two hundred fast-food workers walked off the job to demand $15/hr and union rights in New York City, launching the Fight for $15 movement.

Independent, and sometimes Democratic, Senator and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has been one of the biggest advocates for a $15 minimum wage, having made it a prominent part of his platform for years.

"Just a few short years ago, we were told that raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour was 'radical.' But a grassroots movement of millions of workers throughout this country refused to take 'no' for an answer," Sanders said.

"It is not a radical idea to say a job should lift you out of poverty, not keep you in it," he continued. "The current $7.25 an hour federal minimum wage is a starvation wage. It must be increased to a living wage of $15 an hour."

via Stephen Melkisethian / Flickr

Sanders' call for an increase in the wage brought this one-time radical position to the forefront of Democratic politics when in 2019, the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives passed the Raise the Wage act that would make $15 the new federal minimum wage for all American workers by 2025.

The act still has yet to pass the Republican-controlled White House and Senate, which seems highly unlikely. But, should fortunes change in November, a $15 minimum wage in five years doesn't seem too far-fetched.

While state and federal legislatures drag their heels when it comes to raising the minimum wage, we can all support the movement by shopping at places that support their employees and the economy at-large by paying fair wages.

So next time you go shopping and have the choice between Walmart — which pays a starting wage of $11 to $12 — or Target, the choice should be pretty clear.

True

$200 billion of COVID-19 recovery funding is being used to bail out fossil fuel companies. These mayors are combatting this and instead investing in green jobs and a just recovery.

Learn more on how cities are taking action: c40.org/divest-invest


Canva

I got married and started working in my early 20s, and for more than two decades I always had employer-provided health insurance. When the Affordable Care Act (ACA, aka "Obamacare")was passed, I didn't give it a whole lot of thought. I was glad it helped others, but I just assumed my husband or I would always be employed and wouldn't need it.

Then, last summer, we found ourselves in an unexpected scenario. I was working as a freelance writer with regular contract work and my husband left his job to manage our short-term rentals and do part-time contracting work. We both had incomes, but for the first time, no employer-provided insurance. His previous employer offered COBRA coverage, of course, but it was crazy expensive. It made far more sense to go straight to the ACA Marketplace, since that's what we'd have done once COBRA ran out anyway.

The process of getting our ACA healthcare plan set up was a nightmare, but I'm so very thankful for it.

Let me start by saying I live in a state that is friendly to the ACA and that adopted and implemented the Medicaid expansion. I am also a college-educated and a native English speaker with plenty of adult paperwork experience. But the process of getting set up on my state's marketplace was the most confusing, frustrating experience I've ever had signing up for anything, ever.

Keep Reading Show less
True

$200 billion of COVID-19 recovery funding is being used to bail out fossil fuel companies. These mayors are combatting this and instead investing in green jobs and a just recovery.

Learn more on how cities are taking action: c40.org/divest-invest


The legality of abortion is one of the most polarized debates in America—but it doesn’t have to be.

People have big feelings about abortion, which is understandable. On one hand, you have people who feel that abortion is a fundamental women’s rights issue, that our bodily autonomy is not something you can legislate, and that those who oppose abortion rights are trying to control women through oppressive legislation. On the other, you have folks who believe that a fetus is a human individual first and foremost, that no one has the right to terminate a human life, and that those who support abortion rights are heartless murderers.

Then there are those of us in the messy middle. Those who believe that life begins at conception, that abortion isn’t something we’d choose—and we’d hope others wouldn’t choose—under most circumstances, yet who choose to vote to keep abortion legal.

Keep Reading Show less
via Lorie Shaull / Flickr

The epidemic of violence against Indigenous women in America is one of the country's most disturbing trends. A major reason it persists is because it's rarely discussed outside of the native community.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, murder is the third-leading cause of death among American Indian and Alaska Native women under age 19.

Women who live on some reservations face rates of violence that are as much as ten times higher than the national average.

Keep Reading Show less