These 3 Companies Should Start Paying a Bad Boss Tax Now


Early last week the Internet was abuzz with a new, but clever concept called the “bad boss tax.”

Conceptualized by TakeAction Minnesota, the bad boss tax would impose a fine on billion-dollar corporations with employees that rely on government assistance.

While the future of the bad boss tax is uncertain, the number of employers paying wages so low that they inadvertently shift the financial burden to taxpayers is extensive.

Below, we’ve compiled the top three “Bad Bosses” below.


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, fast food workers, on  average, make about $18,880 a year. According to the living wage calculator, that’s barely enough to keep one person from poverty, let alone a family.

What’s more, many McDonald’s workers report to only making the minimum wage, as low as $7.25. That number, compared to the CEO’s $13.8 million compensation is one of the many reasons why McDonald’s landed on the list.

Worker pay at the Golden Arches, due in part to franchising, is varied. But one thing is for sure, across the board employees are fed up. Yesterday the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled that McDonald’s could be accountable for the string of low wage lawsuits that it’s been slammed with in the past year.

The past year has been rocky for the billion-dollar corporation. Protests over low pay, the right to unionize and unfair treatment have been brewing for months and in May workers across the world banded together for a global protest. Additionally, workers protested in front of the fast food giant’s corporate headquarters during the annual shareholders meeting.


On average, workers at Walmart are paid $8.81 an hour. An employee working 34 hours a week only makes $15,576 annually, far below the federal poverty line for a family of two or more. Keep in mind that Walmart CEO compensation was estimated to be around $20.7 million while revenue is nearly $500 billion.

Perhaps as a direct result, it was recently reported that Walmart’s low wages are costing taxpayers nearly $6.2 billion for public assistance services such as Medicaid, food stamps and housing. That means that one of America’s most profitable businesses relies on taxpayers to support their employees.

YUM! Brands

Low wages run rampant at YUM!, the owner of KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut, with many workers making less than $8 an hour. Aside from it being an unlivable wage no matter where you’re from, YUM! has about 900,000 employees, many of whom need to have their wages subsidized by hard working, middle-class taxpayers.

Despite its CEO (name?) making $14.2 million (over what year) and its employees making poverty level wages, YUM! isn’t shy about its opposition to raising the minimum wage. On several occasions the fast food giant has lobbied to keep the minimum wage where it is, despite its CEO making 1,000 more than many of his employees.

Photo courtesy of Mike Mozart via Flickr.

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Trend: This Is How Women Are Standing Up Against Low Wages


It’s no secret that more and more women are staking their claim in the work world. Although women make up a large portion of the workforce, a disproportionate number of them are low-wage workers and problems with fair working conditions persist.

Things like wage theft, the absence of a work/ life balance, unfair schedules and more plague women working in low-wage professions.

But increasingly, these female dominated industries are fighting back, organizing and creating change.

NFL cheerleaders

For the past 8 months, cheerleaders from three NFL teams have begun to speak out against unfair treatment both on and off the field. Grievances ranged from low wages, to wage theft to outright demeaning requests.

Despite the poor working conditions, there have been some glimmers of hope in the form of worker-led organization. Back in May a former dancer called for the unionization of the cheerleaders as a possible remedy to the low wages and unfair conditions that plague the work, and since then the Oakland Raiders have made the decision to finally pay dancers the minimum wage in addition to paying them for work-related events.

Hotel workers

The most dangerous job in the service industry is that of a hotel housekeeper, a role primarily held by women workers.  Many of these workers endure unrealistic work expectations and low pay.

Back in 2013, a group of Albuquerque hotel workers approached the New Mexico arm of Working America because they felt that they weren’t being fairly compensated for cleaning rooms. At the time the workers claimed that they were being paid $3.25 per room, instead of the city-wide minimum wage of $8.50.

The DOL then launched a formal investigation and found that the hotel was indeed paying workers below both the city and Federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.

That investigation has prompted fairer wages and policies for workers.

Domestic workers

Women represent 95% of domestic workers, which comprises child and homecare jobs, but across the nation 23% of these workers are paid less than the state minimum wage.

What’s more, it seems that many in-home child care workers aren’t given breaks and are forced to work long, strenuous hours.

But recent victories in California, Massachusetts and New York point to greater rights for this group of workers.

Most recently, a Domestic Workers Bill of Rights was passed in Massachusetts. The bill gives workers proper breaks, unpaid sick days, and clarifies working hours. Similar bills have been passed in California and New York.

Photo courtesy of Herald Post via Flickr.

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