For years, the debate over whether companies pay wages high enough to keep workers above the poverty levels has grown louder and louder. The fruits debate of this includes increases in minimum wages in many states. Additionally, companies like Amazon.com and Walmart have bumped up their lowest hourly pay in an attempt to address the criticism.
Wages, particularly among the lowest-paid Americans, remain inadequate to support a standard of living much above the official federal poverty line. Millions of people have gotten financial aid from the government in the last two years, driven in part by legislation to support those out of jobs because of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, inflation has pushed the cost of living across much of America higher. And, these programs have largely ended.
The SEC adopted rules that make public companies disclose what they pay their CEOs compared to the median compensation of their workers. A revised set of rules about this was part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2015. For the most part, all employees must be included as part of the calculation.
The SEC regulation has set off a new series of debates about CEO pay. Chief executives sometimes have compensation at levels several hundred times those of their median workers. Board of directors often say that much of CEO pay comes from stock options which only make CEOs money if stocks in their companies rise.
The company with the lowest-paid employees based on data provided by MyLogIQ, which uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to provide analysis of public company data, (subscription available) was Aptiv, a customer service software corporation. Its proxy shows the median compensation of its employees at $5,906, well below the U.S. poverty level. Aptiv reported it had 151,000 workers in 44 countries.
Aptiv’s CEO Kevin Clark made $31.3 million in the same year, which is 5,906 times the median employee compensation.
Data provided by MyLogIQ, which uses AI and machine learning to review SEC documents.