March 24, 2020
By Dacona Smith, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Walmart U.S.
As our associates continue their heroic work to serve their communities and support each other during this time, we’re focused on doing what we can to support them and their families. Building on last week’s actions to provide associates a special cash bonus, accelerating first quarter bonuses and adjusting our operating hours, today we’re rolling out additional changes with the health and safety of our associates in mind.
Weekly Wage Access Option
Associates will have quicker access to their earnings through a new weekly access option.
In this unprecedented time, associates have asked for earlier access to their wages, so they can continue to plan and focus their time and energy where it matters most - on their safety and the safety of their families. By providing instant access to earned wages every week, this new option will help provide more cash in hand for associates sooner than the normal two-week pay period.
Through June, associates nationwide*, will receive free access to Even, a third-party mobile app that offers financial wellness features to help associates with budgeting and saving, as well as instant access to 50 percent of their earned, net wages on a weekly basis.
We want our associates to have the support they need. Currently, the majority of our associates and family members, have everyday access to $4 telehealth doctor visits. We are waiving this fee for those plan members, providing them access to medical and behavioral health services at no cost to them.
In addition, associates and their families can get free support for mental wellness or life concerns 24/7 with Resources for Living, which includes three behavioral counseling sessions at no cost.
Walmart has started installing plastic shield barriers (sneeze guards) at our pharmacy lanes (both Walmart and Sam’s Club) and will install these guards at the regular Walmart registers over the next 2 to 3 weeks.
Staying safe and healthy is more important than ever for our associates, our customers and for us. Installing these barriers is another way Walmart is helping bring peace of mind that we are doing everything we can to keep our people and our stores safe.
New Shopping Cart Sanitization Solution
We continue to focus on cleaning and sanitizing our stores, including shopping carts so customers can feel safe.
We found a new solution to help associates clean carts quicker and more thoroughly, making them ready when customers need them.
Stores will soon start using the Hart brand two gallon sprayer kits we currently sell in stores to sanitize the whole cart. For stores that don’t have this sprayer, we plan to start shipping them out this week.
Making Social Distancing Easier
Washing hands and social distancing are two of the most important things people can do right now to stay safe – but sometimes it can be difficult to judge the six-foot distance.
Over the coming days and week we are installing floor decals in our stores at both the entrances and in checkout lanes, making it easier for customers to judge the proper social distance from each other.
We remain focused on helping customers and associates stay healthy. Based on advice from the medical community, learnings from Walmart’s international markets, and new information we’re learning every day, we will continue creating and providing additional safety measures for our people and stores.
We cannot thank and appreciate our associates enough. What they have accomplished in the last few weeks has been amazing to watch and fills everyone at our company with enormous pride. America is getting the chance to see what we’ve always known – that our people truly do make the difference. Let’s all take care of each other out there.
*Associates in New York and over-the-road truck drivers are not eligible for Instapay at this time.