These companies announced wage hikes, bonuses, benefits in afterglow of Trump tax reform

Melody Hahm
Senior Writer

Over 80 companies have publicly announced bonuses, wage increases or other kinds of benefits they’re offering employees since President Donald Trump signed tax reform into law on Dec. 22.

Walmart (WMT) is the latest to credit the lower corporate-tax rate as a reason to reinvest the saved capital into its workforce. The world’s largest private employer announced on Thursday it will increase the starting wage for its U.S. employees to $11. Currently, Walmart’s minimum wage is $9 (but bumped up to $10 after completing a six-month training program). While Walmart has hiked wages over the past few years, the timing of this particular announcement signals the company’s attempt to curry favor with Trump.

“Tax reform gives us the opportunity to be more competitive globally and to accelerate plans for the U.S.,” said Walmart CEO Doug McMillon.

In addition to wage increases, eligible Walmart employees will receive a one-time bonus of up to $1,000. And, full-time employees will receive 10 weeks of paid maternity leave and six weeks of paid parental leave (up from eight weeks and two weeks, respectively).

Walmart is the latest company to publicly announce wage increases, bonuses and other benefits since Trump signed tax reform into law last month.

Also on Thursday, the company abruptly closed 63 Sam’s Club stores and laid off thousands of workers. 10 of the closed megastores will become e-commerce distribution centers.

Other companies have also been implementing this strategy of burying bad news amid the rollout of positive announcements. Take, for instance, AT&T (T), which laid off 600 employees at the same time as it announced bonuses for 200,000 workers.

Just last month, the big-box retailer announced it would allow its 1.44 million U.S. employees to access their paychecks before payday. The move was criticized as a loophole to avoid paying employees a higher wage. But perhaps the earlier announcement coupled with a wage hike can materially enhance employees’ lives.

According to a KeyBanc note to investors, Walmart helps set the “prevailing wages in retail.” Specifically citing the increase to $10 in 2016, the note explains how Walmart can set the tone for the retail sector at large. For example, the 2016 move to increase wages to $10 paved the way for competitors like Target (TGT) to raise hourly wages to $11 last year and commit to $15 per hour by the end of 2020.

Other companies lauding the tax plan

While Walmart’s announcement may be garnering the most buzz, given the company’s massive reach, it seems that every day another company is touting how it’s reinvesting the savings from a lower tax rate.

Strategas Partners managing partner Jason Trennert compiled a list of companies that have publicly announced higher wages, bonuses or other benefits post-tax cut.

There’s debate whether these corporate maneuvers are merely publicity stunts or are the first steps to helping employees— or both. Regardless, we should continue to expect more companies to follow suit.

Here’s a comprehensive list of companies and what they’re offering employees, post-tax cut, courtesy of Strategas Partners and original reporting. Industries range from airlines to wineries, promising everything from $1,000 bonuses to planting more vines.

  1. AT&T: $1k bonuses for 200,000 U.S. employees
  2. AAON: $1k bonuses for 2,000 employees
  3. AccuWeather: Year-end bonuses for 450-500 employees
  4. Aflac: Increase 401(k) match from 50% to 100% on the first 4% of compensation plus a one-time $500 contribution to every employee’s 401(k)
  5. American Airlines: $1k bonuses for ~127,600 employees
  6. American Bank: $1k bonuses for 60 employees
  7. American Savings Bank: $1k bonuses for 1,150 employees
  8. Americacollect: $300-$500 bonuses for 250 employees
  9. Aquesta Financial Holdings: $1k bonuses for 95 employees
  10. Associated Bank: $500 bonuses for all hourly employees
  11. BB&T: $1,200 bonuses for 27,000 employees
  12. Ball Ventures: $100 bonuses for each year worked for all employees
  13. Bank of America: $1k bonuses for 145,000 U.S. employees
  14. Bank of Hawaii: $1k bonuses for 2,074 employees
  15. Bank of the James: Increase base wage to $15 per hour for employees serving more than 1 year; increased employee vacation days
  16. Bank of the Ozarks: Incentive bonus plan for 2,300 employees of up to $1,200
  17. Boeing: $300 million for “workplace of the future” facilities, infrastructure, workforce development, charitable giving
  18. Canary LLC: Hire more employees
  19. Capital One: Raising minimum wage to $15
  20. Carl Black Automotive Group: Bonuses for 500 employees based on years of service
  21. Central Pacific Bank: $1k bonuses for 850 employees
  22. Citizens Bank: $1k bonuses for 12,500 employees
  23. Clayton Distillery: Upgrade facilities
  24. Comcast: $1k bonuses for 100,000 employees
  25. Comerica: $1k bonuses for 4,500 employees
  26. Commerce Bancshares: $1k bonuses for 3,450 full-time employees; $250 bonuses for eligible part-time employees
  27. Community Trust Bancorp: $1k bonuses for full-time employees; $500 bonuses for part-time employees
  28. Copperleaf Assisted Living: $200-$600 bonuses for 175 employees
  29. Dayton T. Brown: $400 bonuses for 210 employees
  30. Delaware Supermarkets: $150 extra bonuses for 1,000 non-management personnel
  31. Denizens Brewing Company: Reinvest tax savings into the business
  32. Emkay: $1k bonuses for full-time employees
  33. Ennis: $500 bonuses for 2,200 employees
  34. Express Employment Professionals: $2k bonuses for more than 200 non-executive employees
  35. Fifth Third Bancorp: $1k bonuses for 13,500 employees
  36. FirstCapital Bank of Texas: $500 bonuses for 197 employees
  37. First Farmers Bank and Trust: $750 bonuses for full-time employees
  38. First Financial Northwest: $1k bonuses for non-executive employees
  39. First Hawaiian Bank: $1,500 bonuses for 2,264 employees
  40. First Horizon National Corp.: $1k bonuses for 4,000 employees
  41. Gate City Bank: $1k bonuses for 538 non-management personnel
  42. Gulf Coast Bank & Trust: Increase base wage to $12 per hour
  43. HarborOne Bank: $500 bonuses for 600 employees
  44. IAT Insurance Group: $3k bonuses for 700 employees
  45. Inland Northwest Bank: $500 bonuses for 200 employees
  46. Kansas City Southern: $1k bonuses
  47. Melaleuca: $100 bonuses for each year worked for 2,000 employees
  48. National Bank Holdings Corporation: $1k bonuses for employees earning <$50k
  49. Nationwide: $1k bonuses for 29,000 employees
  50. Navient: $1k bonuses for ~6,566 employees
  51. Nelnet: $1k bonuses for 4,100 employees
  52. Nephron: 5% raise for 640 employees
  53. OceanFirst Bank: Increase base wage to $15 per hour
  54. Ohnward Bancshares: $1k bonuses for 260 employees
  55. Pinnacle Bank: $1k bonuses for 1,007 employees
  56. Pioneer Credit Recovery: $1k bonuses
  57. PNC Financial Services Group: $1k bonuses for 47,500 employees
  58. Regions Financial Corporation: Increase base wage to $15 per hour
  59. Royal Hawaiian Heritage Jewelry: Open more stores, hire more employees
  60. Rush Enterprises: $1k bonuses for 6,600 employees
  61. Sinclair Broadcast Group: $1k bonuses for 9,000 employees
  62. Southwest Airlines: $1k bonuses for 55,000 employees
  63. Stifel Financial: $1,500 bonuses for 7,000 employees
  64. Summit State Bank: $2k bonuses for 78 employees
  65. SunTrust: $1k incentive for employees that complete company’s financial fitness program
  66. TCF Financial: $1k bonuses for full-time employees; $500 bonuses for part-time employees earning less than $100k
  67. Territorial Savings Bank: $1k bonuses for 247 employees
  68. Texas Capital Bank: $1k bonuses
  69. Total System Services: $1k bonuses for 11,500 employees
  70. Travelers: $1k bonuses for 14,000 employees
  71. Turning Point Brands: $1k bonuses for 107 employees
  72. US Bancorp: $1k bonuses for 60,000 employees
  73. Unity Bancorp: $750 bonuses for all employees except executive management
  74. Walmart: Increase starting wage to $11; expand maternity and paternal leave benefits; one-time cash bonus for eligible associates of up to $1k
  75. Washington Federal: Provide 5% increase in addition to normal merit increase for employees earning <$100k; invest in employee training programs
  76. Waste Management: $2k bonuses to 34,000 eligible employees
  77. Wells Fargo: Increase base wage from $13.50 to $15 per hour
  78. Western Alliance: Increase wages 7.5% for the lowest-paid 50% of employees
  79. White Pine Winery: Planting more vines
  80. Windsor Federal: $250 bonuses for employees except senior management
  81. Yancey Bros.: $500 bonuses for all employees
  82. Zions Bancorp: $1k bonuses for 80% of employees
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