The nation’s 12 largest employers have laid off thousands during the pandemic

The nation’s largest employers have collectively laid off more than 100,000 workers during the pandemic, according to a report released Tuesday by a House subcommittee.

Hourly workers were particularly hard hit. Congressional investigators found they were not only more likely to be fired in 2019, 2020 and 2021 than salaried workers, but also more likely to quit and less likely to be fired. be promoted more. This phenomenon disproportionately affects women, workers of color and older workers.

The findings are part of a staff report from the Home Choice Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, which details staffing disparities at 12 major corporations: AT&T, Berkshire Hathaway, Boeing, Chevron, Cisco, Citigroup, Comcast, ExxonMobil, Oracle, Sales force, Walmart and Walt Disney Co. Neither company responded immediately when contacted for comment.

“Today’s report demonstrates that the inequalities observed during this crisis are deeply ingrained in our economy and have persisted throughout the pandemic,” said Representative James Clyburn, DS .C., chair of the subcommittee, said in a statement. “These findings highlight the urgent need to tackle inequality as we continue to work to achieve a strong, sustainable and equitable economic future.”

Wage workers at some of these companies typically earn more than workers with lower hourly wages. For example, Walmart hourly employees quit or are fired at a higher rate and get raises and promotions at a lower rate than 80 percent salaried employees.

Black workers at Walmart will also be laid off twice as much as white workers in 2020, at 19.7% versus 10.4%, according to the study. Members of this group were also fired three times more often, 19.7%, when black employees paid 6.3% and almost five times more often, 19.7%, when white employees paid. pay 4% salary.

Despite the disparity, Walmart has laid off relatively fewer people during the pandemic than other major employers. Company lay off 1,240 employees – much less than the 32,000 laid off by Disney. Next is Boeing with 26,000 layoffs, according to data compiled by the subcommittee.

Cisco and Chevron laid off 3,500 and 4,500, respectively. And Exxon Mobil has laid off 14,000 people. The remaining companies laid off between 1,000 and 13,000 of their employees.

Layoffs also affect older workers at a higher rate than younger workers. Workers aged 50 and over are laid off at double, triple, or even five times the rate of younger workers quitting or retiring at double or triple the rate of young workers. elderly, the subcommittee said.

Benefits are also a factor in employee retention. One company lost 28.8% of its male hourly workers and 35.5% of its female hourly workers in 2020, citing a lack of paid sick leave. Meanwhile, 10.2% of hourly men and 12.4% of women who work hourly sick leave quit that year.

But the dire prospect for hourly workers is true only for some companies during the pandemic, the subcommittee found. Hourly staff at Cisco reported to have outperformed wage earners 40% – defined as keeping their job, getting a raise or promotion. They are inferior to salaried people only 20% of the time.

Chevron and Exxon see a similar trend. According to the report, Chevron hourly workers outperform salaried workers more than half the time, while Exxon hourly workers outperform salaried workers 40% of the time. time, according to the report.

Family and care leave also encourage retention. According to the report, access and leave workers have left work at a lower rate than non-working workers more than 86% of the time. These workers also get a raise at a higher rate than workers who don’t take leave more than 87% of the time.

The subcommittee found that data on LGBTQ+ workers was limited because only one company tracked data on this group for the three years covered in the survey.

Subcommittee report based on December 2021 survey among the nation’s 12 largest employers also reported significant layoffs in 2020. Preliminary findings Released in May reveals how the pandemic-era economy has harmed hourly working women.

Hourly female workers outperformed men by about 30% between 2019 and 2021. This gap peaked at 39.7% compared with both salaried and hourly men in 2016. 2020.

In its final report, the subcommittee said that benefits, including paid leave, may have affected unfair outcomes among hourly and salaried employees at companies surveyed.

For example, Walmart typically doesn’t allow hourly workers to use paid time off until after 90 days of work. These workers cannot access other leave benefits, such as maternity and convalescence, until after 12 months.

Similarly, companies like Chevron and Cisco made no distinction in accessing benefits between hourly and salaried workers during the survey period and did not require waiting periods or apply the same eligibility criteria to all employees.

The findings “highlight the importance of enacting a national, national paid leave program that gives every American access to the benefits that matter where they live,” Clyburn said. work.”

“American workers deserve to know that, whatever crisis they may face, they won’t have to choose between keeping their families fed and taking care of themselves,” he added. and their loved ones.


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