July 28, 2021

(Reuters) – Coach handbag maker Tapestry Inc said on Wednesday it is raising the minimum wage for U.S. employees to $15 per hour starting in September, the latest company to push incentives to lure people back into the workforce.

Many have been hesitant to apply for frontline jobs at retailers and restaurants due to fears of contracting coronavirus and as enhanced jobless benefits, including a government-funded $300 weekly supplement, pay more than most minimum wage positions.

In addition, the lack of affordable child care is an ongoing issue facing many workers.

Burrito chain Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc raised its average hourly wage to $15 in June, while Taco Bell and McDonald’s Corp added benefits or are running hiring events to lure applicants.

Tapestry’s prior minimum wage range depended on local state law, the company told Reuters.

The company also announced a one-time bonus for global store employees and said starting in 2022, 10% of the company’s leadership annual incentive compensation will be tied to equity, inclusion and diversity goals.

Raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour has also been on U.S. President Joe Biden’s agenda. He even tried to plug it into the COVID-19 relief bill signed in March, but Congress stripped it from the package.

(Reporting by Uday Sampath in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr)