CEO Pay Skyrocketed at Corporations While Their Low-Wage Workers Suffered in the Pandemic

How did corporations justify such extreme disparity in a year of extraordinary hardship for workers? (Photo: Shutterstock)

CEO Pay Skyrocketed at Corporations While Their Low-Wage Workers Suffered in the Pandemic

More than half of the country's 100 largest low-wage employers rigged pay rules in 2020 to give CEOs 29 percent average raises while their frontline employees made 2 percent less.

During the pandemic, low-wage workers have lost income, jobs, and lives. And yet many of the nation's top-tier corporations have been fixated on protecting their wealthy CEOs, even bending their own rules to pump up executive paychecks.

A new Institute for Policy Studies report finds that 51 of the country's 100 largest low-wage employers moved bonus goalposts or made other rule changes in 2020 to give their CEOs 29 percent average raises while their frontline employees made 2 percent less.

"It's time for public policy to shift corporate America away from a business model that creates obscene wealth for a few at the top and economic insecurity for so many of the rest of us."

Among these 51 rule-rigging companies, average CEO compensation was $15.3 million in 2020, while median worker pay was $28,187 on average. The average CEO- worker pay ratio: 830 to 1.

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