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Photo: Robyn Beck / AFP via Getty Images

Walmart is boosting starting wages, providing a one-time bonus for employees and expanding benefits, the company said on Thursday, citing the tax cuts signed into law by President Trump last year. The company is also closing 63 Sam's Club stores, it announced Thursday.

Details: The bonus is based on length of service, with those who've worked 20 years eligible for $1,000. The company, which is the largest private employer in the U.S. and employs roughly 2.2 million people worldwide, is also raising its starting wage to $11 an hour. The current starting wage for store associates is $9 an hour. The company also said it plans to expand its maternity and paternity leave benefits.

The plan benefits more than a million employees, the company told Axios.

Several other large companies have also doled out bonuses and announced employee raises thanks to the new tax cuts:

  • Bank of America gave roughly 145,000 employees a year-end $1,000 bonus.
  • AT&T also gave $1,000 bonuses to more than 200,000 U.S. employees.
  • Fifth-Third Bancorp told Axios' Dan Primack that it will raise the minimum wage of its workforce to $15 per hour.
  • Wells Fargo said it would increase its minimum wage to $15 an hour, and plans to allocate $400 million in donations to community and nonprofit organizations in 2018.
  • Boeing committed $300 million for charitable giving, employee development programs and "workplace of the future" facilities and infrastructure enhancement.
  • NBCUniversal said it would award $1,000 in bonuses to more than one hundred thousand eligible frontline and non-executive employees.

Go deeper

Educators face fines, harassment over critical race theory

People talk before the start of a rally against critical race theory being taught in schools at the Loudoun County Government center in Leesburg, Va. Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

Elementary school teachers, administrators and college professors are facing fines, physical threats, and fear of firing because of an organized push from the right to remove classroom discussions of systemic racism.

Why it matters: Moves to ban critical race theory are raising free speech concerns amid an absence of consistent parameters about what teachings are in or out of bounds.

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

1 dead after pickup truck hits Pride spectators in Florida

Police investigate the scene where a pickup truck drove into a crowd of people at a Pride parade in Wilton Manors, Florida, on Saturday. Photo: Jason Koerner/Getty Images

A driver in a pickup truck hit spectators at a Pride festival in Wilton Manors, Florida, killing a man and leaving another person hospitalized Saturday, authorities said.

Details: Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis told reporters police had "apprehended the driver" and that the vehicle missed a parade car carrying Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) "by inches."

Updated 9 hours ago - Sports

Uganda Olympic team member tests positive for COVID in Tokyo

The Uganda National boxing team's Catherine Nanziri (L) and others arrive for check-in at Entebbe international airport in Wakiso, Uganda on Friday, ahead of their departure to participate in the Tokyo Olympic Games. Photo: Badru Katumba/AFP via Getty Images

A Uganda Olympic team member tested positive for COVID-19 upon arrival in Japan late Saturday, officials said.

Why it matters: Japan's government has faced criticism for vowing to host the Tokyo Games next month as coronavirus cases rise. The Ugandan team is the second to arrive in Japan after the Australian women's softball players, and this is the first COVID-19 infection detected among the Olympic athletes, Al Jazeera notes.