Amazon Raises Minimum Wage to $15 for All U.S. Employees

October 02, 2018

New $15 minimum wage is effective beginning this November 1

New $15 minimum wage includes associates employed by temp agencies

More than 250,000 Amazon employees, as well as more than 100,000 seasonal holiday employees, and their families will benefit from the new, higher pay

Amazon associates react to $15 minimum wage announcement

Amazon today announced it is increasing its minimum wage to $15 for all full-time, part-time, temporary (including those hired by agencies), and seasonal employees across the U.S.—effective November 1. The new Amazon $15 minimum wage will benefit more than 250,000 Amazon employees, as well as over 100,000 seasonal employees who will be hired at Amazon sites across the country this holiday.

“We listened to our critics, thought hard about what we wanted to do, and decided we want to lead,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon Founder and CEO. “We’re excited about this change and encourage our competitors and other large employers to join us.”

Amazon’s public policy team will also begin advocating for an increase in the federal minimum wage.

“We will be working to gain Congressional support for an increase in the federal minimum wage. The current rate of $7.25 was set nearly a decade ago,” said Jay Carney, Senior Vice President of Amazon Global Corporate Affairs. “We intend to advocate for a minimum wage increase that will have a profound impact on the lives of tens of millions of people and families across this country.”

Employees will continue to receive Amazon’s industry-leading benefits, including:

  • Comprehensive healthcare, including medical, dental, and vision coverage
  • Up to 20 weeks of paid parental leave
  • 401k matching
  • Career Choice, which pre-pays 95% of associates’ tuition for courses in high-demand fields, whether those jobs are at Amazon or another company
  • Career Skills, which trains hourly associates in critical job skills like resume writing, how to communicate effectively, and computer basics

With more than 575,000 employees worldwide, Amazon was named #1 on LinkedIn’s 2018 Top Companies list, ranks #1 on The Harris Poll’s Corporate Reputation survey, and #2 in Fortune’s World Most Admired Companies. Learn more about working at Amazon.

Does this apply to Whole Foods and your other subsidiaries?
Yes. The new Amazon $15 minimum wage applies to all U.S. employees at Amazon and its subsidiaries.

How are you going to work with Congress to raise the federal minimum wage?
Our public policy team will work with policymakers in Washington, D.C., to advocate for a higher federal minimum wage.

What do you want the federal minimum wage to be raised to?
We believe $7.25 is too low. We would look to Congress to decide the parameters of a new, higher federal minimum wage.

Is anything changing with Amazon’s RSU program?
Yes, we’ve heard from our hourly fulfillment and customer service employees that they prefer the predictability and immediacy of cash to RSUs. We will be phasing out the RSU grant program for stock which would vest in 2020 and 2021 for this group of employees, replacing it with a direct stock purchase plan before the end of 2019. The net effect of this change and the new higher cash compensation is significantly more total compensation for employees, without any vesting requirements, and with more predictability.

Is it required to hit any incentive targets in order to get the $15 minimum wage?
No, we are phasing out the incentive pay component and the $15 will be a simple minimum with no targets required.

Are any health care or other benefits also changing?
No, Amazon’s industry-leading benefits package is not changing. We will continue to provide comprehensive healthcare on day 1, company-paid life and disability insurance, up to 20 weeks of paid parental leave, 401k matching, and Career Choice, which pre-pays 95% of associates’ tuition for courses in high-demand fields, whether those jobs are at Amazon or another company.

What about Amazon’s hourly Operations and Customer Service employees who are already making $15? Will they see an increase?
All of Amazon’s hourly Operations and Customer Service employees will see an increase, including those who are already making $15.

Will this be reflected in your quarterly earnings report?
Yes – the effect of this additional expense will be incorporated into our earnings guidance.

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