Hearing its critics, Amazon raises U.S. minimum wage to $15 across the board

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Amazon.com Inc., which last month briefly joined the elite club of two U.S. companies with a market cap of $1 trillion, will now pay its workers a minimum wage of $15 per hour.

The increase covers its 250,000 U.S. full-time, part-time and temporary employees and its over 100,000 seasonal U.S. workers, as of Nov. 1, the company said Tuesday.

“We listened to our critics, thought hard about what we wanted to do, and decided we want to lead,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon AMZN, +0.07%   founder and CEO.

The typical Amazon employee was paid less than $30,000 annually in 2017, Securities and Exchange Commission filings have shown. For comparison, United Parcel Service Inc. UPS, +0.61%   has reported median compensation of $53,433.

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Bezos recorded total compensation of $1,681,840 in 2017, almost all of which is money paid for personal security. Bezos drew a salary of $81,840 last year and received no additional stock. Bezos’s compensation is 59 times the median Amazon worker’s and is information required to be released as part of the Dodd-Frank act upending financial regulation in the wake of the 2008 crisis.

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Amazon does offer health care coverage, 401(k) matching for qualifying employees and up to 20 weeks of paid parental leave in its benefits package.

Amazon’s public policy team will also begin advocating for an increase to the current $7.25 federal minimum wage, set roughly a decade ago, the company said Tuesday.

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