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Target Sweetens Parental Benefits

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Target Corp., the discount retailer battling Walmart Inc. and others for employees, is sweetening the benefits it offers parents.

The Minneapolis-based chain is extending its paid parental leave and offering employees access to 20 days of subsidized care for children or elderly dependents. It’s also boosting the amount it reimburses workers for adoption and surrogacy fees, with the company providing as much as $10,000. The perks are available for both hourly and salaried workers, it said.

(Related: DMEC Chief: Paid Leave Has Momentum)

The improved benefits illustrate the lengths that retailers are going to retain workers with unemployment hovering near historic lows. Inc., Target and Walmart in particular have gone back and forth in trumpeting improvements to their wages and benefits — both to attract and retain workers and improve their public image.

Target said previously it will move to a $13 minimum hourly wage this month, with a goal of a $15 hourly wage by the end of next year. Amazon has already set its minimum starting wage at $15, while also eliminating monthly bonuses and stock awards.

Walmart has a starting salary of $11 an hour. Chief Executive Officer Doug McMillon raised eyebrows last week when he said that the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 is “too low.” The country’s biggest retailer is expanding a program to fund college degrees, among other initiatives.

—With assistance from Matthew Boyle.

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