Sears is catching heat for dedicating over $25 million to exec bonuses while reportedly cutting off severance for laid-off store workers

Sears employee

Barry Brecheisen/Invision for Sears/AP Images

"This is what we mean when we talk about a rigged economy," Senator Bernie Sanders tweeted.

  • Sears is enticing top executives to stick around by touting $25.3 million in potential bonuses, according to the Chicago Tribune.
  • Meanwhile, laid-off Sears store employees told Vox they had stopped receiving severance checks a few weeks after the retailer filed for bankruptcy in October.
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders and other commenters took to social media to blast this discrepancy.

Sears has got people fuming over the fact that top executives stand to pick up major bonuses while laid-off Kmart and Sears store employees have seen their severance pay nixed.

Last week, a bankruptcy court gave the company the go-ahead to set aside $25.3 million in bonuses for top executives, according the Chicago Tribune. The retailer argued that it required the money in order to get these execs to stick around.Advertisement

The Chicago Tribune reported that 19 executives will receive bonuses from a pool of $8.4 million if they help the company hit its goals for next six months, while 315 senior employees could draw from a pool of $16.9 million.

Meanwhile, laid-off Sears store employees have reported that they stopped receiving severance checks after the company filed for bankruptcy.

Sears and Kmart store employees posted a letter to the company on Rise Up Retail's website, demanding that the retailer "guarantee severance pay and create a hardship fund for thousands of laid off Sears and Kmart employees to help our families get back on our feet."
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"It has been devastating," laid-off Kmart employee Sheila Brewer told Vox. Brewer said she received severance for two weeks before the money stopped coming. "In addition to losing my job and having anxiety about who is going to hire me, since I haven't had a job interview in almost 20 years, I am counting on this money. I'm already behind on my rent, and I am the sole provider for my family."

A representative for Sears did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment.Sen. Bernie Sanders took to Twitter to denounce Sears, calling the move indicative of a "rigged economy."Advertisement

Read more: Sears' and Kmart's sales increased for the first time in years - but it's probably not going to save the business

But Sanders, who recently took on both Amazon and Walmart over worker wages, wasn't the only one with something to say. Plenty of other Twitter users chimed in with their own criticisms of Sears.

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