Average 2,202% Wage Gap Between CEO and Employees

There is a national debate about the wage gap between women and men and minorities and white people. But the largest wage gap by far is between chief executive officers and the people who work for them.

A careers board site, Lensa, examined the extent of the CEO to employee wage gap at the 100 biggest companies in the United States and found the CEO earns $1,276,520.77 more than workers annually.

Here are the companies with the biggest wage gap:

  • Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey earned $1.60 million, compared to the median employee pay of $11,342, for a difference of $14007 percent.
  • Starbuck Corp. CEO Kevin Johnson earned $1.54 million, compared to the median employee pay of $12,113, for a difference of $12617 percent.
  • Chipolte Mexican Grill CEO Brian Niccol earned $1.20 million, compared to the median employee pay of $14,155, for a difference of 8378 percent.
  • Viacom CEO Robert M. Bakish earned $3.00 million, compared to the median employee pay of $39,110, for a difference of 7571 percent.
  • Walmart CEO Doug McMillon earned $1.27 million, compared to the median employee pay of $20,942, for a difference of 5975 percent.

To add insult to injury, employees at Coca-Cola, which recorded the highest disparity between CEO and employee pay, had the lowest median salary at $11,342. And Starbucks is the biggest coffee chain in the word and yet its workers receive the second lowest average wage, $12,113. At Chipotle, the average employee takes home $14,155, which is equivalent to about 1.18% of CEO Niccol’s $1.20 million salary.

And Then There Is Tesla

The company with the smallest wage gap between the CEO and median worker is Tesla, where CEO Elon Musk actually earns less than the average employee. Musk earns $23,760 compared to the average employee pay of $58,455. This represents a difference of minus 59%.

But what does Tesla’s ranking really mean? Musk is ranked by Forbes as the first or second richest man in the world.

In 2020, Musk was the highest-paid CEO, receiving $6.66 billion worth of compensation, despite having a minimal base salary.

Perhaps Musk takes a small paycheck to lower his federal income tax obligation?

Hint Of Public Pressure Sends Big Law Firms Scurrying

Once again, the legal profession has cloaked itself in infamy by capitulating to public pressure and abandoning the efforts of President Donald Trump and the GOP to insure the integrity of the American election.

A group of rabid anti-Trump Republican consultants called The Lincoln Project earlier this month announced a $500,000 advertising campaign. The aim was to persuade employees of law firms representing Trump to resign and to call on clients to stop working with firms. Twitter subsequently removed posts in which The Lincoln Project shared the phone number and emails addresses of Trump/GOP attorneys.

By any measure, the campaign was wildly successful. It appears that Trump is now without legal counsel with any significant experience in election law.

Now the question is – what’s off limits going forward? Will The Lincoln Project and its ilk target judges who agree to consider election lawsuits? Aren’t they also contributing to the downfall of democracy as we know it?

Big Firms Dump Trump

Porter Wright Morris & Arthur of Columbus OH, caved immediately. It withdrew from a federal lawsuit it had filed three days earlier on behalf of the Republican  Party in Philadelphia. Such a move is devastating to both the lawsuit and the client but, in its withdrawal motion, Porter Wright said the plaintiffs would be “best served” if it resigned. Forbes reports that Porter Wright received more than $580,000 in legal fees from the Trump campaign since June.

Continue reading “Hint Of Public Pressure Sends Big Law Firms Scurrying”

AARP Rewrites Modern History Of Age Discrimination; Emerges Heroic

The AARP has devoted an issue of its monthly publication to age discrimination in which it announces that ageism remains an “accepted bias” and assures readers that it is “fighting” the problem

But the AARP fails to note that the AARP quashed a story that was supposed to run in the issue about the federal government’s  Pathway’s Program, which excludes older workers from federal jobs, reportedly because it didn’t want to jeopardize its federal grants or rock the boat.

The AARP also omits the fact that it virtually ignored age discrimination until after the 2014 publication of my  groundbreaking book, Betrayed: The Legalization of Age Discrimination in the Workplace. which exposes the failure of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) to protect older workers during and since the Great Recession. Continue reading “AARP Rewrites Modern History Of Age Discrimination; Emerges Heroic”

A Million Violations of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act?

What happens when  an individual or group asserts a human right that interferes with another individual or group’s rights and freedoms?

If the disadvantaged group is older Americans, their rights silently slip away.

Earlier this month, a coalition of 55 top U.S. companies  called The 100,000 Opportunities Initiative issued a press release touting a  “long-term effort” in the Atlanta area to bring jobs to “youth” aged 16 to 24 who are not in school or unemployed. Coalition members made thousands of on-the-spot job offers at a job fair on May 3. Coalition members have held similar hiring  events in Washington,  D.C., Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Phoenix and Seattle since the coalition’s formation six years ago.

The coalition now says it “aims to hire at least 1 million youth nationally  by 2021.”

The problem is that it is illegal under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) to refuse to hire workers aged 40 and above because of their age or, alternatively, because they aren’t between the ages of 16 and 24.  It also is illegal for a company to adopt a policy or practice  that has a disparate impact upon older workers.  Clearly, the rights of older workers to be free from invidious age discrimination in hiring have given way … but to what exactly? Continue reading “A Million Violations of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act?”

Social Media Puts Wal-Mart on the Defensive

Social media appears to be playing a significant role in an epic battle between Wal-Mart Stores, the world’s largest retailer,  and an American union that presumably would like to represent Wal-Mart workers, The United Food and Commercial Workers .

The union has channeled worker dissatisfaction with  Wal-Mart’s  wages, benefits and working conditions into an innovative social media campaign  featuring web sites funded by the union called OURWalmart (Organization United for Respect at Walmart) and Making Change at Walmart.    These sites include a fundraising arm for “striking” Wal-Mart associates, news about alleged poor labor practices by Wal-Mart, and slick videos of associates complaining about their treatment by Wal-Mart. On Tuesday, OURWalmart referred associates to information allegedly leaked by OccupyWallStreet.org on secret Wal-Mart power points   that tell managers how to fend off unionization efforts.

OURWalmart has garnered national publicity for labor protests at Wal-Mart stores across the nation and appears to be making some gains, possibly because of Wal-Mart’s seeming overreaction to the protests of associates and the reality of Wal-Mart’s stingy  pay and benefits.

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Office of the General Counsel recently issued a consolidated complaint  against Wal-Mart alleging that the company violated the rights of its employees as a result of activities surrounding employee protests in 14 states. The complaint involves more than 60 employees, 19 of whom were discharged allegedly as a result of their participation in activities protected by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).  The NLRA guarantees the right of private sector employees to act together to try to improve their wages and working conditions with or without a union.

Wal-Mart contends that most of the associates were fired “for violating Walmart’s attendance policies that apply to all associates. Some of these individuals violated the attendance policy dozens of times in the last six months. In other cases, they were absent from work for more than eight days without letting anyone know when they would be returning to work. The facts present a very different story from what OUR Walmart/UFCW asserts.”

Wal-Mart has responded to the UCFW campaign with its own web site called, OURWalmartFactcheck.com , which states its purpose is “to examine claims and provide facts about the Organization United for Respect at Walmart (OUR Walmart) – a group funded by the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union. This site is sponsored and operated by Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.”

Fact checker

Ironically, Walmart’s OURFactcheck.com  on Tuesday appeared to need a fact checker.

The web site incorrectly quotes a story in The Daily News Telegram of Worchester, Massachusetts, as reporting  that the average the average Walmart associate earns $12.83 per hour, and less than 1/2 of 1% of associates earnclaim_source minimum wage.  Walmart provides a link to the The Telegram story, which quotes Kory Lundberg, a Walmart spokesman, as stating:  “In Massachusetts … the average wage of a full-time hourly associate at Walmart is $13.86. He also noted that the majority of Walmart employees are full time. Mr. Lundberg said less than 1/2 of one percent of all Walmart associates earn minimum. Walmart’s pay is comparable to other retailers; it has to be to stay competitive, he said.”

There’s obviously a difference between the average pay of a Walmart associate and the average wage in Massachusetts of a full-time hourly Walmart associate.

NLRB Complaint

According to the NLRB,  the consolidated complaint against Wal-Mart actually was authorized in November of 2013, but withheld until last week while the Office of the General Counsel engaged in failed settlement discussions with Wal-Mart.  Additional charges are under investigation.

The NLRB states that Wal-Mart unlawfully threatened employees with reprisal if they engaged in strikes and protests during two national television news broadcasts and in statements to employees at Walmart stores in California and Texas. At stores in California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas and Washington, the NLRB says that Wal-Mart unlawfully threatened, disciplined, and/or terminated employees for having engaged in legally protected strikes and protests.  At stores in California, Florida, Missouri and Texas, the NLRB says Wal-Mart unlawfully threatened, surveilled, disciplined, and/or terminated employees in anticipation of or in response to employees’ other protected concerted activities.

Note: OurWalmart includes a “legal disclaimer” stating that the UCFW is not trying to organize Wal-Mart workers but merely to “help Wal-Mart employees as individuals or groups” in their dealings with Wal-Mart.