Black employees at Peloton are raising questions over unfair pay discrepancies at the company, according to an in-depth new report from Business Insider. After years of hushed secrecy about salaries, Black employees are opening up on a private Slack channel and in regular Zoom meetings, revealing that some Black employees are being undercut by as much as $15,OOO annually compared to their white counterparts.
Peloton is arguing that the company doesn’t pay below the competitive market rate but that compensation is based on varying “levels,” such as geography and experience. According to the report, one of the company’s vice presidents in charge of salaries, Michael Gettlin, hopped on to a Zoom meeting with the company’s 200-strong “Black@Peloton” employee group to discuss the matter, adding that “it is entirely possible that two team members could be in the same level but paid significantly differently.”
Business Insider said that Gettlin did add that two employees doing essentially the same work at the same level should receive a similar pay, and that Peloton has hired an outside consultant to examine the pay-equity issues in detail in response to the concerns. However the article points that the “gulf between the company’s hourly workers, many of whom are people of color, and the rest of the Peloton workforce is reflected in the 317-to-1 pay ratio between [CEO John] Foley and the median Peloton employee.” In addition, a Slack discussion channel revealed that some Black employees with years of experience as IT professionals were being paid thousands of dollars less annually than other employees with similar experience.
Peloton has certainly been vocal in its stance as an anti-racist organization, with its $100 million pledge last year to fight systemic racism in response to Black Lives Matter. The company also embraces diversity in the form of internal programming for employees and by offering special classes and apparel series to honor Black History Month, Hispanic Heritage Month, and pride. But many employees are left wondering, is this enough?
According to Business Insider:
To some people whom Insider spoke with however, the episode reflects an ongoing problem at Peloton: For all the company’s talk of combating systemic racism, its efforts are too often reactive, in response to a crisis, rather than demonstrating a genuine interest in creating an equitable workplace. Four current and former Black employees described personal experiences at Peloton that they said showed a pattern of underpaying certain workers.
“I just had a hunch,” one former employee said. When the employee polled other team members about pay, “the three Caucasian people were all getting paid more than what I started at,” the employee said, noting that one of the people he asked had started six to eight months before him while the other two started several months after him.
“None of it is genuine,” one Black employee told Insider in a conversation over a messaging app. “The Black dollar is powerful, and Peloton sees the benefit with aligning themselves with the BLM/Anti Asian Hate stance, but does little to address inequity and diversity concerns internally.”
The full article is well worth a read, and we’ll stay tuned as this story evolves.