The 20 Worst Companies to Work for in 2022


Not everyone can choose a career they love. Even so, they should choose an employer that won’t mistreat them. That means avoiding companies with a bad reputation in this regard. Fortunately, Earn Spend Live and other sources are more than happy to provide relevant information to interested individuals.

20. Charter Communications

As Vox points out, telecommunications companies operate in either an oligopolistic or even a monopolistic environment. As a result, they can get away with practices other companies cannot afford because of the lack of competition. Sadly, it is easy for sloppiness in one aspect of a company’s operations to spread throughout the rest. The treatment of employees is by no means exempt from this, thus explaining Charter Communications’ inclusion on this list.

19. Frontier Communications

Speaking of which, Frontier Communications is another telecommunications company. In its case, it took some hard hits in recent times because of bad decision-making from the top. For proof, Bloomberg reports it declared bankruptcy in 2020. The telecommunications company is now out of bankruptcy, though that wouldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t for its shareholders handing ownership over to its bondholders. Unsurprisingly, its employees took hits during the scramble to avoid bankruptcy, the subsequent scramble to recover from bankruptcy, and the period in between.

18. Rent-A-Center

Rent-to-own businesses don’t have a good reputation. Some of their customers are people who won’t be staying in the same place for long periods. One example would be college students, while another would be military personnel. However, rent-to-own businesses have gained a reputation for targeting people unable to secure financing for big purchases from better sources. As a result, people see them as predatory for much the same reason as payday lenders. Given that kind of thoroughness in the pursuit of profit, it isn’t hard to see how one of the most successful rent-to-own businesses in the United States made it onto this list. Employees are expensive. Alas, employers have seemingly countless ways to make them less so, often at the expense of their wellbeing.

17. Alorica

It is easy for companies to make nice-sounding promises. Unfortunately, it is much more difficult for them to follow through because doing so requires significant commitments of time, effort, and other precious resources. On top of this, working in customer service is often a miserable experience, as shown by this Thought Catalog article. That is particularly true when customer service representatives can’t do anything about callers’ problems. For context, Alorica is a customer service BPO, meaning it handles that part of the business process for its commercial clients.

16. CVS Health

CVS Health owns a wide range of healthcare-related companies. For example, it bought the health insurance provider Aetna in 2018. Similarly, it owns a chain of pharmacies called CVS Pharmacy. On the whole, CVS Health is no stranger to controversy. In 2020, The New York Times reported four of its pharmacies incurred fines for bad business practices. Something that doesn’t happen very often. Under those circumstances, it isn’t hard to see why CVS Health has a persistent issue with employee satisfaction.

15. Kmart

Some brick-and-mortar retailers have suffered more than others because of recent trends. Kmart is very much on the harder-hit end of things. After all, it went through a second bankruptcy in 2018 and 2019. During that, it lost its most profitable holdings in exchange for its continuing existence. Since then, Kmart has gone from a three-digit number of U.S. stores to a single-digit number of U.S. stores. One suspects the morale of the remaining employees isn’t great. Even the most indifferent of individuals can recognize the trend under such circumstances.

14. Dillard’s

Dillard’s is another department store chain. It is more regional than Kmart’s one-time empire, as shown by a couple of things. One, its stores are concentrated in Texas and Florida even though it operates in 29 states. Two, its stores are absent from most of California and most of the northern states. Still, Dillard’s is experiencing the same issues as Kmart. The difference is that it is at an earlier point in the process, meaning there might still be time for it to turn things around. Regardless, the management is feeling the pressure, which in turn, means the employees are feeling the pressure.

13. Dish Network

Fairly or unfairly, people tend not to like telecommunications companies. Still, there are always standouts loathed more than most of their competitors. Dish Network has a notorious reputation. Partly, that is because of technical issues, and partly, that is because of poor customer service when experiencing technical issues. Presumably, that makes an unpleasant work experience for the technicians and customer service representatives who interact with irate customers the most.

12. Family Dollar Stores

Dollar stores are a notable exception to the general trend of brick-and-mortar stores getting hammered in recent years. That doesn’t say good things about the purchasing power of the average consumer, but that does say great things about the viability of the sector. Of course, dollar stores have thin profit margins, meaning they are very interested in cost-cutting measures. Even so, Family Dollar Stores became notorious because of just how cheap it was. According to Business Insider, it was regularly making employees managers without managerial power to make them work overtime without receiving overtime pay.

11. Speedway

Running a gas station is hard work. The same is true for running a convenience store. Still, these seem like they could be worth it for small business owners, whose effort directly impacts their earnings. Sadly, the same can’t be said for the people staffing gas stations and convenience stores owned by a chain. Already strenuous work becomes much more so when overseen by excessively demanding management. Speedway is no exception to this rule.

10. Tyson Foods

Meat processors get a great deal of scrutiny. Often, that focuses on their treatment of animals. However, it is very much possible for them to have issues with their treatment of their human employees. It wasn’t that long ago when Oxfam blasted Tyson Foods and its competitors for paying low wages to their employees, instituting practices that led to high injury rates in their employees, and instilling a sense of fear in their employees. Executives made promises. Even so, NPR reports Tyson Foods had to fire seven plant managers for betting on the number of employees who would catch COVID-19. That doesn’t suggest good things about its lower management’s attitude towards its frontline workers.

9. The Children’s Place

The Children’s Place sells clothing and accessories for exactly the demographic one would expect based on its name. It seems to have the same employee issues as many other retailers with many other specialties. Still, its bad reputation suggests it is going above and beyond in this regard.

8. Steak ‘n Shake

Steak ‘n Shake is somewhere between fast food and fast casual. Chances are good interested individuals can guess its employee issues, which are by no means limited to this particular chain in its chosen industry. For proof, consider Illinois Public Media’s report that almost 1,500 “managers” sued it for pulling the same trick as Family Dollar Stores. Moreover, the justice system already decided for the plaintiffs in one of the two lawsuits.

7. Regal Cinemas

Sometimes, jobs that seem fun are not so in real life. For instance, Regal Cinema employees don’t seem to enjoy their jobs much even though people often imagine cinema workers as these carefree individuals who can watch movies whenever they want. Once again, financial pressure seems responsible for many of their woes.

6. Genesis Healthcare

Care is more important than ever before. An aging population means an increased demand for such services. The sad thing is that many employers in the industry struggle with balancing the need to meet this demand with the need to take care of their workers. As a result, both priorities often wind up suffering from it. Genesis Healthcare is doing so more than most.

5. Forever 21

Forever 21 is a fast fashion retailer. Specifically, it is a fast fashion retailer known to make its employees work without overtime pay. Furthermore, it carries out time-consuming bag checks, which doesn’t say much about its opinion of its employees. Under those circumstances, it would be strange if Forever 21 didn’t have issues with its workforce.

4. Activision Blizzard

Video game companies have a bad reputation when it comes to the treatment of their employees. They share issues with both tech and entertainment, which is perhaps unsurprising considering their connections to both. Essentially, video game companies often require their employees to regularly work unreasonable hours. That causes burnout. Unfortunately, video game companies continue because they can tap into the enthusiasm for their products to recruit fresh talent.

With that said, some video game companies are much worse than others. Activision Blizzard has received a lot of negative press in recent times because of widespread discrimination against women while leadership did either nothing or next-to-nothing about it. Kotaku says these issues aren’t limited to this company, but this company is the face of the problem for the time being.

3. U.S. Security Associates

Being a security guard is a difficult job. Many of them get inconvenient hours. After all, most places are less secure during the night than during the day, which is a time when most people don’t want to work. On top of that, security guards have to confront people when they see something suspicious going on, which isn’t even mentioning how they tend not to get much respect from sizable portions of the general population. The inclusion of this company on this list becomes even more understandable when one tosses in the usual issues of businesses that fail to treat their people well.

2. The Fresh Market

Businesses aren’t just either all-good or all-bad any more than humans are just either all-good or all-bad. It is perfectly possible for a business to be good in one respect but bad in others because attentiveness to one issue doesn’t guarantee attentiveness to all issues. As such, plenty of companies are well-respected in some respects but still have issues with their employees. The Fresh Market has a decent reputation when it comes to its foodstuffs. Unfortunately, that says nothing about its treatment of its employees. Indeed, there are cases when one can come at the expense of the other, including more than one of the companies on this list. The Fresh Market is just one more of them.

1. Amazon

Being replaceable is a very bad thing when working for a megacorporation. By now, chances are good interested individuals have heard one or more horror stories about the experiences of Amazon fulfillment workers. For example, there are high injury rates. Similarly, there is the intrusive surveillance of workers. This kind of thing is no coincidence. Amazon knew very well that such practices alienated its workers. It just didn’t care in its pursuit of profits. Indeed, it wanted a high turn-over rate because of concerns that long-term workers would become either angry or complacent.

With that said, it is amusing to note that its practices have nonetheless backfired on it to a considerable extent. The experiences of Amazon fulfillment workers are so well-known that people see such positions in a more negative light than ever before. The situation is so bad that PCMag and other sources reported on an internal memo saying Amazon is expected to see a worker shortage as early as 2024 if nothing changes.

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