In Minnesota, the Star Tribune reports that Target Corp. will “beef up benefits it offers its full- and part-time hourly workers, including paid family leave to care for a child or aging parent and backup child care.”

Specifically, the company will “institute a new paid family leave policy that would include care for a child, spouse or parent … the new policy doubles paid leave from two weeks to four weeks and includes leave for birth, adoption, surrogacy or foster placement.”

And, it will “extend a program to allow up to 20 days of what it called "affordable backup care solutions" for child care and elder care to include workers at its stores and distribution centers starting this fall. The benefit previously had only been offered to headquarters workers and had only covered care at child-care centers. The new program also covers in-home care for children and older adults. Employees pay $20 a day for center-based care and a variable hourly rate for in-home care.”

Target also says it will “reimburse hourly and salaried workers up to $10,000 for adoption and surrogacy fees to cover such costs as application, filing, placement fees, court costs and attorney fees. The retailer said this doubles the previous amount, which it has offered for more than a decade.”

KC's View: A contracting labor market forces companies to make these kinds of moves, though I sort of wish that they would see the wisdom of treating their employees this way when competition for great workers was a little less intense.

That said, this isn’t just about a tight labor market - it is also about the fact that Target’s employees face pressures and demands because of a shifting culture that they may not have had to deal with not that many years ago. You can’t go back, you can only go forward … and that’s what Target is doing.