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Top 10 Worst Places To Work

Updated on May 1, 2013

David Letterman is famous for his Top Ten lists, but we feel it’s also pertinent to let you in on the bottom eleven companies to work for in America.

Thanks to sites like Glassdoor, employees can anonymously report their experiences on the job. This list was compiled by 24/7 Wall Street, based on public companies with at least 300 Glassdoor reviews.

Predictably, the greatest complaint by employees was insufficient salary and not enough opportunity for advancement.

The companies are:

11. Robert Half International (legendary boiler room)

The Rating: 2.7 (from 349 reviews)

The number of employees is 11,300 (full-time), and the one-year stock price change is up 18%. The CEO approval rating for Max Messmer Jr. is 55%.

Employee turnover and dissatisfaction are legendary at Robert Half, as are the company’s tactics of pitting its own workers against each other to compete for commissions and promotions. The company takes huge profit margins at the expense of its sales force, and workers there frequently complain of “a hostile work environment.”

10. GameStop (What? These guys are supposed to be cool).

The Rating: 2.7 (from 416 reviews)

The number of employees is approximately 17,000, and the one-year stock price change: down 21%. The CEO approval rating for J. Paul Raines is 32%.

GameStop mainly sells used video game hardware and software and has 6,683 stores in 15 countries. You guessed it: the company’s business model is foundering as its focal products are increasingly delivered over wireless or broadband.

One gripe among employees is that GameStop prioritizes sales over customer service. Meanwhile, there is such a high turnover rate among employees at the company that the customer service probably will not be improving soon.

9. The Bank of New York Mellon (No big shock here - it’s the banking industry)

The Rating: 2.7 (from 307 reviews)

The number of employees is 47,800, and the one-year stock price change was up 7%. The CEO approval rating for Gerald Hassel was 63%.

The bank controls $27.1 trillion in assets under custody or administration and $1.3 trillion under management. One-thousand five-hundred people were laid off last year as a part of “expense reductions.”

Employees report that one can work “9:45am to 4:45pm...with 1 hour lunch break," but with a salary “well below street levels.” One disgruntled employee quips that if you “don’t like salary hikes and bonuses and promotions on merit and hard work this is the perfect place for you.”

8. Rite Aid

The Rating: 2.7 (from 328 reviews)

The number of employees is approximately 91,000, and the one-year stock price change: up 3%. The CEO approval rating for John T. Standley is 31%.

The drugstore chain behemoth boasts 4,700 stores in 31 states after combining companies including Thrifty, PayLess, and Brooks/Eckerd Stores. Employees may be disgruntled from a sloppy integration process. Meanwhile, workers at the stores slapped a lawsuit on Rite Aid for refusing to pay overtime (the suit was settled for $6.9 million in 2009). In addition, reviewers complain of poorly-trained managers, mandatory overtime, and having to work on holidays.

7. Hewlett-Packard (you call India when calling their tech support)

The Rating: 2.7 (from 4,112 reviews)

Number of employees: 349,600. One-year stock price change: down 38%. CEO approval rating for Meg Whitman: 82%.

Former CEO Mark Hurd was removed from his position in 2010 due to an “inappropriate relationship” with a Hewlett-Packard contractor. His replacement, Leo Apotheker, only lasted 11 months. Employees complain that the company plans to cut 27,000 jobs and that management in the past was directionless.

Former eBay mastermind Meg Whitman came to the rescue as CEO and enjoys a high-ranking on Glassdoor (82%), despite the company’s other shortcomings.

6. Sears / Kmart (Sears Holdings)

The Rating: 2.6 / 2.5 (from 947 / 376 reviews)

The number of employees is approximately 293,000. One-year stock price change: down 19%. The CEO approval rating for Louis J. D’Ambrosio is 30%.

Sears / Kmart and their smaller divisions control 2,172 full-line stores and 1,338 specialty stores in the U.S. Eddie Lampert is the fund manager for Sears Holding Corp. and recently bought a $40 million mansion north of Miami. At the same time, his company was laying-off thousands of people, closing 173 stores, and selling 1,200 more.

Employees at Sears and Kmart cite old-fashioned company systems and management, low salaries, and not enough available work hours per week.

5. OfficeMax

The Rating: 2.6 (from 360 reviews)

The number of employees is approximately 29,000, and the one-year stock price change is down 12%. The CEO approval rating for Ravi K. Saligram is 39%.

In the United States and Mexico there are 978 OfficeMax stores. Revenue was down 2.7% from the second quarter of 2011, to $1.6 billion. The company reported a net loss of $3.0 million in the same quarter a year ago, and a net income this quarter of only $10.7 million. Yet while the company seems to be on shaky financial ground, its board of directors reinstated the payment of quarterly cash dividends on the company’s common stock.

Workers in retail at these stores complain of minimum wage salaries, being micromanaged, and not enjoying respect from the higher-ups or having incentive to stick around.


The Rating: 2.6 (out of 401 reviews)

The number of employees is about 23,900 and the one-year stock price change is up 14%. The CEO approval rating for Mark P. Frissora is 43%.

The rental fleet in the U.S. for Herz Global Holdings is about 355,500 cars.

Employees at Hertz complain that the company’s management is not in touch with the business. One worker wrote that "Upper management has little field experience and lots of MBA's that tell you the impossible is possible." Recent college grads resent having to start at the bottom with menial pay in the “Management Trainee” program.

3. RadioShack (they’re still around?)

The Rating: 2.4 (out of 560 reviews)

The number of employees is about 34,000, and the one-year stock price change is down 78% (!). CEO approval rating for James F. Gooch: 32%.

RadioShack features 4,700 retail stores under its eponymous brand name and another 1,500 Target Mobile centers in the U.S. The success of in electronics sales has had a crushing effect on the company.

Workers at RadioShack report having to work long hours for an unsatisfactory sales commission structure. Meanwhile, the company only pays commissions on certain products, rather than paying based on overall sales. Consumer Reports gave a “naughty” to RadioShak on its 2011 Naughty & Nice List since the company admitted to selling the same products at varying prices.

2. Dillard’s

The Rating: 2.4 (out of 363 reviews)

The number of employees is about 30,000, and the one-year stock price change is up 43%. CEO approval rating for William Dillard II is 22%.

Most of the 300 Dillard’s retail department stores are in the Midwest, the Southwest, and the Southeast.

Complaints tend to be related to the controlling family, headed by CEO William Dillard II. The Dillard family owns 99.4% of the corporation’s voting shares and the family does not seem interested in making non-kin happy. William, Alex, and Mike Dillard (CEO, President, and Vice President of the company respectively) have raked in over $51 million as company officers over just the 2009 to 2011 period.

Meanwhile, employees complain of low earning opportunities and being paid on the number of sales made per hour instead of on a commission. The turnover rate for workers is reportedly high.

1. Dish Network

The Rating: 2.2 (out of 346 reviews)

The number of employees is about 34,000, and the one-year stock price change is up 37%. CEO approval rating for Joseph Clayton is 32%.

Workers complain of poor management, long hours, a lack of holidays, “mandatory overtime,” and “no flexibility” with schedules. "You work all day all night. Your day starts from 6:45am till 6pm or 10pm. You work every holiday that your day falls on,” reports one employee.

The same employees are tasked with the daunting responsibility of managing over 14 million subscribers. These subscribers, in turn, are complaining about poor customer service, and MSN Money put Dish in its Customer Service Hall of Shame in 2012.


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    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      6 years ago from Sunny Florida

      What an interesting article. I like Dillards! The number of nice clothing stores located in Jacksonville leaves something to be desired and I also have an Office Max quite close by where I occasionally shop. This is a very interesting list as I never considered the worst companies before.


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