It’s your boss’s worst nightmare: You find out how much your company is overpaying your CEO, while they shortchange you and your co-workers. And you just might demand a raise.
Under a new federal regulation, publicly traded companies are required to reveal how much their CEOs are making, compared to their typical workers. Adding to their embarrassment, most major corporations are using their “yuge” tax windfalls to reward their executives and shareholders, not raise workers’ wages.
Spotlighting Inequality. As required by the 2010 Dodd-Frank law (best known for reforming the big banks), corporations are reluctantly shining a spotlight on imbalances in their own pay scales, reflecting outrageous inequalities throughout the economy:
- In a survey of large corporations on the S&P 500, the average CEO was paid 347 times as much as their average worker.
- With the stock market surge last year, median (typical) pay for CEOs at 133 of the largest U.S. companies reached $11.6 million—an all-time high.
Grabbing Tax Breaks, Gouging the Poor, Getting a Huge Salary. Bank of America pocketed a $2.7 billion windfall from the Republican tax cut. Instead of sharing its good fortune, it started charging fees to depositors with low bank balances.
- Now, its CEO, Brian Moynihan, revealed he’s paid $23 million—250 times as much as his typical employee.
Is Your Boss Worth 1,000 Times as Much as You? Some companies pay their bosses more than a thousand times as much as their typical workers. Among the companies with the most exorbitant CEO-to-worker pay ratios:
- Temp agency Manpower’s CEO is paid 2,483 as much as its average worker.
- Amusement park Six Flags’ boss gets 1,920 as much as frontline workers.
- Del Monte foods’ CEO’s salary is 1,465 times the typical worker’s paycheck.