Last August, Jamelle Brown, a specialist at the Research Medical Center in Kansas City, Missouri, contracted Covid-19 while she was in the job of cleaning and cleaning the rooms in the emergency department. Fortunately, his case was not serious, and after his solitary confinement, he was back at work.
On his return, Brown was appointed Monthly Employee in his unit and given a gift voucher to be used in the hospital restaurant. Price: $ 6.
"That really blew me away," said Brown, who makes $ 13.77 an hour and has worked for nearly four years in a hospital, owned by HCA Healthcare. "It made me sit down and say, 'This place doesn't matter to me.'"
The owner of Research Medical, HCA Healthcare Inc., is a lucrative, public-owned network of 185 hospitals and 121 private surgical centers in 20 states and England. Even in the year Covid-19, 2020, the company generated $ 51.5 billion in revenue and increased its pre-tax revenue by 3.6 percent. Its shares have risen 14 percent this year, compared to 10 percent in the Standard & Poor 500 index.
That action helped boost HCA chief executive Samuel N. Hazen's earnings last year to $ 30.4 million, an increase of 13 percent from 2019, documents show. Although Hazen's salary was 5.8 percent lower by 2020, the total amount of his compensation was 556 times the compensation received by an average HCA worker - $ 54,651.
These figures highlight the CEO’s pay gap, a problem for many public companies according to some investors and employees and even a few executives. In 2019, for example, the average payout among 350 large American companies was 320-to-1, according to a study by the Economic Policy Institute, a left-thinking think tank in Washington, DC In 1989, the average was 61-to - 1.
Because Brown, who works in the emergency department, does even less than the middle one, Hazen received nearly 1,000 times what Brown paid. Brown says he lives with his sister because he doesn't earn enough money from his medical research to pay for his apartment. He said he had not received any money for two years.
"We value the partners and the work they are doing to take care of their communities," a spokesman said in a statement, "and we are committed to compensation and benefit packages, as well as opportunities for technological advancement and skills development."
Service Employees International Union, of which Brown is a member, and affiliated Brown with NBC News, has been negotiating with the HCA for failing to raise its employees' wages to $ 15 an hour for more than a year. NBC News asked HCA about the salary of Brown and his colleagues in Kansas City on March 31. Later that day, the company agreed to increase its salaries to $ 15 an hour. SEIU staff in some areas did not receive a salary.
Spring is when many public companies report how much their CEOs and other senior executives earn in the past year. One of the details investors focus on control files is the so-called CEO pay ratio. The figure, required by the Securities and Exchange Commission since 2017, compares the compensation received by the CEO of the company with its average employee.
Some companies pay their CEOs more than the average, of course. In 2019, for example, C. Douglas McMillon, chief executive officer of Walmart, received a package worth $ 22 million or 983 times an average employee.
Cynthia Murray, who has worked at Walmart for 20 years, wants her company to raise wages. He made $ 15.27 an hour, and the company's manager went home with $ 22 million last year.
Cynthia Murray, 64, is a Walmart partner in Maryland who has worked for a dealer for 20 years. She makes $ 15.27 an hour and is a member of United for Respect, a non-profit organization that promotes sales staff.
"What I raised this year was 30 cents an hour," Murray said. "Walmart is one of the richest companies in the world. Why shouldn't they take some of that money back with a pay rise?"
Randy Hargrove, a spokeswoman for Walmart, said in a statement: "Over the past five years we have invested more than $ 5 billion in training, education and higher pay for US retailers and teams in the US alone.
Three-quarters of store management companies started out as hour partners, he added, noting that Walmart store manager earns more than $ 180,000 a year.