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Big-Name Companies Paying at Least $15 an Hour

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The Federal Government

Given that President Biden has suggested the minimum wage for all Americans get a boost to $15, it only makes sense that federal employees should make at least that amount as well. The Office of Personnel Management has announced that pay rates for 67,000 government workers will be raised to at least $15 on or after Jan. 30. "As the largest employer in the country, how the federal government treats its workforce has real impact," OPM Director Kiran Ahuja said in a statement. "Raising pay rates across the federal government to a minimum of $15 per hour reflects our appreciation for the federal workforce and our values as a nation."

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Hobby Lobby Retail Store

Hobby Lobby

Though it's become infamous for its evangelical CEO's controversial policies, Hobby Lobby pays its employees pretty well, and the craft chain just announced that it's raising its minimum wage again. Starting in 2022, all full-time hourly employees will be making at least $18.50 per hour, and they've been making at least $15 since 2014. Hobby Lobby instituted a company-wide minimum wage in 2009, and in the 13 years since, it has increased the minimum wage a dozen times. 

Family Walking At Ikea Store After Shopping


Ikea, the global flat-pack furniture giant, is increasing its starting pay for U.S. employees. Beginning in 2022, new hires — including full time, part time, temporary, and seasonal employees — will earn at least $16 per hour, or even a couple bucks more depending on location, according to Fast Company. Benefits will also be beefed up, including a minimum of five weeks of PTO. And thanks to a record sales year, the company will also be doling out performance-based bonuses to the tune of $76 million in total. That could buy a lot of Billy bookcases.

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Costco started paying workers at least $16 an hour in March, and now comes news the company will be offering a minimum of $17 an hour. "These increases are part of Costco's continuing efforts to ensure our hourly wages remain extremely competitive in the retail industry," Costco CEO Craig Jelinek said in a memo to employees. More than half of Costco's hourly workers actually make $25 or more, Jelinek says. 

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Starbucks employees will also be seeing fatter paychecks soon. Hourly workers will see a minimum of $15 an hour, with an average of $17 an hour, by summer 2022. Also, beginning in January, workers who've been with the company for at least two years could receive up to a 5% raise, and those with five years of service could see as much as a 10% pay bump, reports USA Today. Starbucks is already one of the few companies that offers part-time workers health benefits and other perks such as tuition reimbursement. 

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Williams-Sonoma at The Summit in South Reno
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Williams-Sonoma Inc.

The upscale home retailer has announced it will raise its minimum wage to $15 per hour, effective immediately, for all workers. Williams-Sonoma Inc. owns the eponymous cooking and kitchen retailer, as well as Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids, Pottery Barn Teen, West Elm, Williams Sonoma Home, Rejuvenation, and Mark & Graham.

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Bank of America

Bank of America

Bank of America recently raised its minimum wage to $21 per hour, the latest increase that is part of the company's effort to provide a minimum wage of $25 by 2025. That represents an increase of $13 an hour since 2010, Bank of America has said.

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Sam's Club

Sam's Club

Sam's Club recently said all workers will make at least $15 an hour, a decision that took effect at the end of September. The vast majority of Sam's associates already made at least that much, the store said, and the average hourly rate is more than $17. Walmart, parent of Sam's, also recently raised the minimum wage for workers in its stores, but not quite to the $15-an-hour mark: Its minimum wage is now $12 an hour, according to CNBC. 

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Not only has the low-priced grocery chain announced it plans to hire 20,000 workers to prepare for the busy holiday season, Aldi is planning to give hourly rates a boost, too. Aldi says it will be offering an average starting pay of $15 an hour for store positions and $19 for warehouse positions. 

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CVS announced in August that it will start increasing wages for hourly workers and reach at least $15 an hour for all 300,000 employees by next July. The pharmacy retailer will also boost starting rates for positions such as pharmacy technicians and call center representatives above $15. A majority of existing employees don't have to wait for the increase: Roughly 65% already make more than $15 an hour.

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Chipotle Mexican Grill Logo Sign


Plenty of restaurants are struggling to find workers, and Chipotle is no exception. The chain said it would raise its average wage to $15 an hour by the end of June, a move it hoped would help it hire at least 20,000 new employees. Restaurants say they're having a tough time finding enough staff for a number of reasons, including competition from other industries, pandemic safety concerns, child care issues, and government aid in the form of stimulus checks and boosted unemployment benefits.

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Under Armour storefront in mall

Under Armour

More than 8,000 part-time and full-time workers at Under Armour (about 90% of the company's retail and distribution workforce in the U.S. and Canada) got a substantial raise in June, when starting pay jumped from $10 an hour to $15 an hour. 



This Boston-based online furniture and home goods retailer said in January that it had bumped its minimum wage to $15, a move that would raise the pay of nearly half of its 8,000 hourly workers. The company had already been paying many workers a $2-an-hour premium during the pandemic, as well as offering other benefits such as emergency paid time off and child care support. 

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Amazon Prime Package


Amazon started paying all of its workers at least $15 an hour in November 2020, including the temporary and seasonal hires crucial to helping the ecommerce giant stay on top of its busy holiday season. The company has also been vocal in its support for a nationwide $15 minimum wage. Still, some critics say the wage is still paltry compared with what warehouse workers should be making, and has driven down industry averages where Amazon has opened fulfillment centers. 

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Best Buy
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Best Buy

This electronics juggernaut said it would begin paying workers at least $15 an hour starting in August 2020, noting that it had also been providing "incremental hourly appreciation pay" for frontline workers since the end of March. The news isn't all good, though: Best Buy announced earlier this year that it would lay off 5,000 workers and add 2,000 part-timers to better align demand with customers who are doing more of their shopping online.  

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Target | 2013
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Target raised its minimum wage to $15 beginning in July 2020. It also gave frontline workers a $200 pandemic bonus, and has offered periodic pandemic-related bonuses since then. The bump in pay represents a $4 hike in three years; in September 2017, Target's starting wage was $11. The move has put pressure on Target's closest big-box rival, Walmart, which is paying a minimum wage of $11 despite having raised pay for some workers enough to bump its average to $15 an hour. 

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Wells Fargo
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Wells Fargo

Perhaps spurred on by its faster-acting banking rivals, Wells Fargo said in March 2020 that workers in many of its higher cost-of-living markets would be paid at least $20 an hour by the end of the year. The mega bank had already raised its minimum wage to $15 in March 2018. Lower-paid full-time workers also got a $600 pandemic bonus last year — steps that might help public perception of a bank that keeps getting caught committing fraud.

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Ben & Jerry's
The Fifth Third Bank on Rochester Road in Rochester Hills, Michigan

Fifth Third Bank

Midwest-based Fifth Third joined its larger banking rivals in August 2019, saying it would increase its minimum hourly wage to $18, a move that affected nearly 5,000 of its roughly 20,000 employees. Fifth Third had previously raised its minimum wage to $15 from $12 in January 2018. 

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Mountain View, Ca/USA December 29, 2016: Googleplex - Google Headquarters with biked on foreground


It might not seem much of a stretch for a flush tech company such as Google to pay at least $15 an hour, but it didn't happen until the end of 2019. The pay bump, announced in April 2019, came in response to protests that Google's many temporary and third-party workers — reportedly half its workforce — got inadequate pay and benefits. Google also said it would require health care coverage, parental leave, and tuition reimbursement for those workers. 

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JPMorgan Chase

JPMorgan Chase

Chase workers in more than 100 cities — roughly 22,000 in total — got a raise in February 2018, bumping pay from between $12 and 16.50 an hour to between $15 and $18. Later reports put the minimum wage at $16.50 for all workers. CEO Jamie Dimon has said he's in favor of higher wages for workers, but would not commit to matching Bank of America's $20 starting wage when challenged on the issue in a hearing on Capitol Hill in 2019. 

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In January 2018, Cigna committed to paying its workers at least $16 an hour, with many employees getting salary increases beyond that mark. It also said it would pump $30 million into 401(k) matching so that employees would get an additional 1% contribution match for the year. 

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Aetna Office


One of the nation's largest health insurers was one of the first big companies to announce that all of its workers would make over the $15-an-hour threshold, pledging a minimum wage of $16 for all workers starting in April 2015. The move averaged out to an 11% pay bump for employees, though some saw as much as a 33% raise. 

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