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Walmart Will Close on Thanksgiving and Give $428 Million in Bonuses to Employees

·3 min read

Walmart is giving its workers a break this Thanksgiving.

The company announced on Tuesday that all of its nationwide stores — including Sam's Club locations — will close on Nov. 26 as a way to thank employees for working throughout the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

In addition, the big-box retailer will be spending roughly $428 million on bonuses for its U.S. employees "for their ongoing contributions and dedication to serving customers, members and communities during this unprecedented time," according to a press release.

Full-time hourly staffers will be given $300, while part-time and temporary associates will receive $150. Walmart said drivers, managers and assistant managers working in distribution and fulfillment centers will also be given bonuses, but did not disclose a specific amount.

The bonuses will be paid out on Aug. 20.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Walmart

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“Our associates have been working at an incredible pace, they’ve solved problems, and they’ve set an amazing example for others,” John Furner, president and CEO of Walmart U.S., said in a statement. “To further appreciate their incredible work, we are pleased to share another special cash bonus this summer.”

"We know this has been a trying year, and our associates have stepped up. We hope they will enjoy a special Thanksgiving Day at home with their loved ones,” Furner added. “We are certainly thankful to our people for all of their efforts.”

Kathryn McLay, president and CEO of Sam’s Club, said in a statement of her own: "Since the beginning of this pandemic, I’ve been so proud to see how our associates have pulled together to take care of each other and our members. These are extraordinary times, and our associates have lifted each other up in extraordinary ways, and we are so grateful."

The announcement comes a day after Walmart and Sam's Club's new mask policy — which requires customers to wear a face covering while inside their stores — went into effect.

Al Bello/Getty Masked shoppers at Walmart

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Dacona Smith, the COO of Walmart U.S., and Sam’s Club COO Lance de la Rosa said in a company blog post last week that the policy will "bring consistency across stores and clubs" as 65 percent of Walmart and Sam's Club stores are located in areas where some form of government mandate on face coverings has already been established.

"We know some people have differing opinions on this topic. We also recognize the role we can play to help protect the health and well-being of the communities we serve by following the evolving guidance of health officials like the CDC," the company blog post read. "We appreciate the understanding and cooperation of our customers and members in wearing face coverings to protect their safety and the safety of our associates."

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a GoFundMe.org fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.