- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 23, 2017

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc. announced Tuesday that it’s expanding its military leave-of-absence policy by offering differential pay to all eligible employees who are on military assignments lasting more than three days.

The Bentonville, Arkansas-based company said in a news release that the differential pay will cover the duration of military leave, including basic training, for employees whose military salary is less than what they earn working for Wal-Mart. The company says its employees took more than 4,400 military leave of absences last year. The new policy takes effect June 24.

Wal-Mart senior director for military programs, retired Brig. Gen. Gary Profit, said employees who want to serve in the military will now be able to do so more easily.

“We believe that anyone who wants to serve in our Armed Forces should be able to do so without fear of losing wages or leaving their family in a lurch.” Profit said. “The changes we’re making will remove financial barriers for all associates serving their country, including those who are starting their service journey through basic training.”

Wal-Mart also announced that it was giving a $100,000 grant to the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, a group that helps those grieving the death of a loved one who served in the Armed Forces.

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