Weight Watchers Employees Weigh in on Compensation

Frustrated by big payouts for celebrity endorsers, Weight Watchers employees have taken to airing their complaints on a message board hosted by the company.

Weight Watchers

The New York Times published an article highlighting the pay gap. As one employee said, "They know my love for the program, but I can't say we're treated right. We are professionals, we have to dress nice, but we are paid less than kids who work at McDonald's." As celebrities Jessica Simpson and Jennifer Hudson collect millions of dollars for their endorsements, many Weight Watcher employees are paid minimum wage. 

Company CEO David Kirchhoff, responded to employees' complaints: "One of our top priorities is to improve your working life at Weight Watchers, and in particular, the way we reward you for the incredible work you do."

On his blog, Mr. Media Training, Brad Phillips speculates about what Weight Watchers could have done differently:

"I couldn't help thinking that Weight Watchers could have helped prevent this story from bubbling up to the surface simply by moderating their site more carefully. Sure, nothing would have stopped employees from complaining on third party websites, but it would have been much more difficult for them to communicate without a central website to visit, especially because the workforce is diffused and decentralized."

Discussion Starters:

  • Do you agree with Brad Phillips' assessment?
  • What else could the company have done differently to prevent employee sentiment from becoming public?
  • How else could the company have managed employees' communications?