Walmart Changes Sick Leave and Offers Bonuses for Attendance


Walmart Inc. (NYSE:WMT) is changing its paid time off policies by incentivizing its workers. Bonuses will be distributed to workers that don’t take any days off outside the company’s protected PTO. Generally, hourly workers can miss up to nine days of work every six months for unexpected circumstances. 

New Walmart Attendance Policy

Walmart’s new policy will allow up to five days of unexpected absences in six months. On top of the five days, workers will also receive six days a year of “protected PTO.” These protected days can be used for illnesses, flat tires, taking care of sick kids or family members, and emergencies. The given protected paid time off days won’t count against workers’ attendance records.

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“Walmart is trying to be creative. Workers are already showing up, and this is not a big cost,” said Stephanie Luce, professor of labor studies at the City University of New York. “It’s a way to make a positive gesture without really breaking the bank.”

Walmart will give bonuses to employees that don’t dip into the pool of five additional days every six months. Bonuses for an entry-level employee could range around $500 extra per quarter, and managers could make up to $900. The company told CNN that around 300,000 workers are already qualified for the bonus this quarter. Currently, Walmart has over 1.1 million hourly workers.

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The large chain believes its new bonuses will boost attendance. Unplanned absences disrupt the store because other workers have to change routines and pick up the missing worker’s job. The company believes this often trickles down to messy stores and poor customer service. Walmart has been on a steady trend to improve pay and benefits for its workers. The company newly introduced expanded paid maternity and paternity leave and also raised its minimum wage across the board.

Walmart Stock Movement

According to Yahoo Finance, WMT closed yesterday at $95.83 a share, up +$1.03 (+1.09%). In pre-market trading, the retail stock is trading at $96.05 a share, up +$0.22 (+0.23%).

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