Tuesday, March 15, 2016

When did following up become the exception instead of the rule?

From Jim Avery writing for Cracked.com:
In recent years, the national minimum wage has become a hot topic, with people debating about the importance of a living wage vs. the value of certain kinds of jobs. However, one CEO, Dan Price of Gravity Payments, shocked everyone on April 13 of this year by announcing that all of his employees would be receiving a minimum salary of $70,000 a year; not only that, he'd be substantially cutting his own salary to pull it off. In one of the many interviews he had after the announcement, he stated that he had learned how raises can mean the world to lower-income employees, especially after talking to one of his lower-paid workers, like a highly condensed version of A Christmas Carol.

Unfortunately, it wasn't all happy for Price, who ended up being sued by his brother shortly after the raises were announced. His brother Lucas owned about 30 percent of the company, and apparently wasn't happy with this newfound generosity.


Actually, it turns out there was a small error in the above paragraphs. We said that Dan Price was sued after the pay raise, but as it turns out, the lawsuit was actually filed before the controversial move. Also, by "small error," we mean "enormous mistake that changes everything about the story." Our bad.

According to Dan Price, the lawsuit was filed two weeks after the pay raise, which is true. However, Bloomberg did some digging and discovered that Price was served on March 16, nearly a month before. According to the lawsuit, Dan Price abused the company's assets to give himself a huge salary, while cutting down on what Lucas would be paid, in a somewhat Zuckerberg-esque move.

So when you look at that timeline, it seems a lot less like the headline is "CEO Has Change Of Heart, Becomes Generous" and more like it's "CEO Tries To Hide Douchebaggery By Acting Like Santa Claus." Though Santa probably doesn't pay elves much more than minimum wage either.
First of all, I don't want to take anything away from the Bloomberg article. It's a very well-done piece and the reporter  Karen Weise deserves a great deal of credit for breaking the real story. My concern is that a lot of other reporters stuck with the decidedly unreal story for far too long. This story broke in April; Weise came out with the corrected version in December.

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