Black employees are questioning Peloton about their pay, as the fitness giant's CEO pulls in a $17.8 million compensation package

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Black employees are questioning Peloton about their pay, as the fitness giant's CEO pulls in a $17.8 million compensation package
Peloton; Alyssa Powell/Insider
  • Black employees at Peloton starting sharing their salary histories over suspicions of pay disparity.
  • Peloton's CEO earned $17.8 million in 2021 while the median employee earned $56,084.

An unexpected face greeted members of the "Black@Peloton" employee group when they logged on for one of their regular Zoom meetings in October.

Michael Gettlin, a Peloton vice president responsible for salaries, was on screen. He was there to address concerns among the Black employees - aired for weeks in the group's internal Slack channel - that some of them were being paid less than the industry standard for their positions and experience.

The 200 or so members of the Black@Peloton group, all of them full-time staff, had been sharing their pay experience at the company. One Black employee said in the Slack channel that she was given a 1.5% raise, which equates to an additional $765 a year - well below the 5.3% inflation rate at the time - "after receiving constant praise on my hard work throughout the year," the person posted in the channel.

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According to the company's most recent proxy filing, CEO John Foley earned $17.8 million in total compensation, including stock awards, in Peloton's 2021 fiscal year. The same filing showed that the median Peloton employee, including both hourly and full-time employees, was paid $56,084 over the same period - resulting in a 317-to-1 pay ratio between Foley and the median employee.

To some people with whom Insider spoke, the disparity reflects an ongoing problem at Peloton: For all the company's talk of combating systemic racism, its efforts are too often reactive, in response to a crisis, rather than demonstrating a genuine interest in creating an equitable workplace. Four current and former Black employees described personal experiences at Peloton that they said showed a pattern of underpaying certain workers.

"I just had a hunch," one former employee said. When the employee polled other team members about pay, "the three Caucasian people were all getting paid more than what I started at," the employee said, noting that one of the people he asked had started six to eight months before him while the other two started several months after him.

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Insider spoke with several current and former employees who say that this kind of disparity was consistent in their experiences with Peloton and that they struggled to get paid at their market value relative to their position, location, and experience.

A Peloton spokesperson told Insider that the firm takes the "constructive comments" very seriously and encourages the feedback. The connected-fitness company, whose sleek stationary exercise bikes became a pandemic status symbol, said it had signed on in March to the Management Leadership for Tomorrow Black Equity at Work certification and will become eligible for consideration for the certification in May.

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