Are You Underpaid? In a First, US Firms Reveal How Much They Pay Workers

Labor News

Under new rules taking effect this year, Kraft Heinz Co. disclosed it paid its CEO $4.2 million last year, about 91 times its median worker’s $46,000 compensation. Employees packaged sliced smoked ham at an Oscar Mayer plant in Davenport, Iowa. PHOTO: DANIEL ACKER FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Reprinted from The Wall Street Journal by Theo Francis and Vanessa Fuhrmans on March 11, 2018.

American workers, for the first time, are discovering how much employees earn at the biggest US companies and how that pay compares with the chief executive’s.

At Humana Inc., the median employee made $57,385 while the CEO made 344 times that much, or $19.8 million, according to the health insurer’s proxy statement. Whirlpool Corp. says its median worker is a full-time staffer in Brazil earning $19,906 a year, while the CEO made an annualized $7.08 million, or 356 times as much. At medical-device maker Intuitive Surgical Inc., where the median employee was paid just over $157,000, the CEO got 32 times that, or $5.1 million.

Those three are among more than 50 major companies to reveal the gap between their median worker’s pay and the CEO’s annual compensation. For the first time, this year US publicly traded firms are required to divulge their median employee pay in addition to CEO pay, and the ratio between the two. …

WSJ 3/11

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Jeff Burman represents assistant editors on the Guild’s Board of Directors. He can be reached at

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