The 20 Worst Companies to Work For in 2019

If you’re stuck in a dead-end job and desperate to get out, be careful. The grass may look greener on the other side, but appearances can be deceptive. Behind the polished veneer of state-of-the-art office blocks, staggeringly high executive salaries and well-known names are often some pretty shady goings-on. With some businesses engaging in everything from workplace harassment to underpayment of wages to litigious behavior of the worst kind, it pays to do your research before jumping ship. Fortunately, there’s a ton of information out there to help you along your way. 24/7 Wall Street, for example, has recently mined the 49 million reviews on Glassdoor to find out which employers rank as the worst performing when it comes to things like transparency, trustworthiness, leadership, career opportunities, culture, and values. We’ve done the same, and the results may surprise you.

Forever 21

20. Forever 21        Forever on the list of worst-performing companies is Forever 21, 2nd home to the nation’s most fashion-forward customers and, as it turns out, some of its unhappiest staff. With only 37% of employees willing to recommend the company to a friend, something’s clearly going awry- and if thereviews on Glassdoor are anything to go by, it may have something to do with the inadequate benefits, lack of overtime pay, and unforgiving company policies. Given the number of lawsuits Forever 21 has been hit with over recent years(including several by former employees, one of which centered on the company’s fondness for detaining staff during their lunch breaks to check they hadn’t nabbed any of the merchandise), you’d think it would be doing everything it could to improve its public image. Apparently not.


19. Xerox

Scoring a dismal 2.8 out of 5 on Glassdoor’s ranking system is Xerox, the home of printers, scanners, and dissatisfied staff. As the Huff Post notes, CEO Ursula Burns may have spent the last 36 years working her way up from Intern to company head, but she’s clearly not picked up many tips about fostering employee morale along the way, with only 36% of her underlings given her their stamp of approval. Factor in a decline in sales and complaints of poor pay and the end result is a tech company that’s starting to look a bit of a dinosaur.

Charter Communications

18. Charter Communications

Fairing just .1 of a point worse than Xerox in Glassdoor’s rating system is the telecommunication and mass media company, Charter Communications. Overbearing management, instability, poor wages, rigid politics, and a stressful working environment are just some of the reasons behind the shockingly poor 2.7 Glassdoor rating it managed in 2019… as is a lack of confidence in its top leadership, with CEO Thomas Rutledge failing to get the approval of even half his staff.

The Children’s Place

17. The Children’s Place

The Children’s Place may make some cute children’s wear, but its staff are anything but pleased with the retailer. Scoring a dismal 2.7 on Glassdoor, staff cite poor leadership (only 36% approve of current CEO Jane Elfers’ style of management), poor wages, the pressure to promote the store’s credit card, micromanagement, and poor opportunities for growth as just some of the reasons for their dissatisfaction. Given that the happy faces of customer-facing employees are often enough to make a sale, you’d think The Children’s Place would be putting a bit more effort into ensuring staff satisfaction than it clearly is.


16. CompuCom

In at number 16 is CompuCom, a subsidiary of office supply retailer Office Depot based in Fort Mill, SC. Poor wages, infrequent salary reviews, and limited opportunities for professional growth and development are just some of the reasons behind the company’s place on our list, as is its poor showing on Glassdoor. According to the site, only 7% of the company’s 10000+ employees approve of CEO Mick Slattery- which may explain why only 36% of them would recommend their employer to a friend.


15. Regal

Working at the movie theatre chain Regal may get you free admission to movies and discounts on concessions, but it’s also going to give you a serious headache. Before the company was bought out by the UK company, Cineworld Group, staff weren’t overly troubled by conditions. Following the acquisition (which coincidentally saw every member of Regal’s board of directors tender their resignation), things have taken a dramatic turn for the worse, with many of its 26047 employees complaining of poor working conditions, understaffing, and low wages.


14. Dillard’s

As one of the largest fashion, cosmetics, and home furnishing companies in the US, Dillard’s is regularly pulling in annual sales of $6.5 billion-plus. But don’t expect many of its 10000+ employees to be celebrating in its success. According to Cheat Sheet, Dillard’s has one of the worst work/ life balances of any company in the US, with many employees complaining their sales quotas are unrealistic and their pay is far below their worth. Considering the depth of employee dissatisfaction, we can why only 37% of employees would give their approval to CEO Bill Dillard II, and even fewer (35%) would recommend the company to a friend.

LA Fitness

13. LA Fitness

LA Fitness may have it covered when it comes to the physical well-being of its members, but when it comes to the mental well-being of its 10,000+ employees, it’s got some serious making up to do. Low pay, long hours, and a lack of appreciation from upper management are just some of the reasons behind the company’s dismissal showing on Glassdoor . When it comes to ranking their CEO Louis Welsh, staff are unrelenting in their condemnation, with a whopping 67% disproving of Welsh’s leadership. Only 38%, meanwhile, would be prepared to recommend the company to a friend.

Steak and Shake

12. Steak and Shake

If you see a Glassdoor rating of 2.6 out of 5, you don’t need a degree in math to know something’s up… or, down, in the case of Steak and Shake. Because when it comes to employee satisfaction, there’s no upside to what’s happening at the San Antonio based restaurant chain. Just a glance at some of the staff complaints tells you all you need to know, with low pay, long hours, chaotic management and an atrocious attrition rate all cited as some of the reasons you’re best off avoiding this company like the plague.


11. Conduent

The business process services company Conduent may be able to brag about having over 85000 employees, but how many of those employees are happy is another thing entirely. Despite being named a Leader in NelsonHall’s Advanced Analytics NEAT Evaluation, Conduent is by no means leading the pack when it comes to staff satisfaction. Like Steak and Shake, the company has only managed a 2.6 out of 5 on Glassdoor, with only 38% of its employees taking the time to recommend the company to a friend.

Family Dollar Stores

10. Family Dollar Stores

The percentage of employees of Family Dollar Stores willing to recommend its CEO, Gary M Philbin, may be higher than certain other entries to our list, but a 37% approval rate is still a pretty poor showing, nonetheless. Not as bad as the percentage of employees willing to recommend the company to a friend though, which as Glassdoor notes, stands at just 30%. If the reviews are anything to go by, the retailer has a long way to go in terms of pay, development opportunities, and expectations.


9. Alorica

Bearing the same 2.6/5 score on Glassdoor as Steak and Shake, Conduent, and Family Dollar Stores is our next entry, Alorica. Its mission to “to create insanely great customer experiences” might be worthy enough, but when it comes to staff experiences, it seems to have fallen behind the pack. CEO Andy Lee might enjoy an approval rating of 45% (admittedly, it’s not great, but compare it to some of the other CEO’s on our list and you may understand the cheese-eating grin he’s sporting on his profile page but his staff aren’t exactly dancing in the aisles when it comes to pay, progression opportunities, hours, overtime rates, or company culture.

Speedway LLC

8. Speedway LLC

Another entry to our list with a 2.6/5 Glassdoor rating is the gas station chain Speedway. CEO Tony Kenney might be feeling fairly satisfied with his 49% approval rating (or not… there’s a nearly 50/50 chance either way), but his employees are clearly not happy with the company as a whole, with only 34% saying they’d be happy to recommend their workplace to a friend.

CDK Global

7. CDK Global

Computer hardware & software company CDK Global has an 8500+ staff base, covering everything from sales reps to software engineers to implementation workers. While 62% of those employees would be happy enough to give CEO Brian Krzanich their approval, only 38% would recommend the company to a friend. The reason? According to Glassdoor reviewers, it’s the old story of feeling overworked and underpaid.

US Security Associates

6. US Security Associates

2.5/5 is clearly not a score US Security Associates would want to advertise- but then again, why would they need to, when Glassdoor is already doing the job for them. Low wages, infrequent pay reviews, and a lack of support from management are just some of the reasons why only 33% of the company’s 10000+ staff would recommend their employer to a friend.

Genesis HealthCare

5. Genesis HealthCare

Pennsylvania-based health care service provider Genesis HealthCare may be helping hundreds of patients nationwide, but it’s doing little to improve the fortunes of its 10000+ employees. Inflexible upper management, low morale, limited career opportunities, understaffing, and poor pay are just some of the many complaints levied at the company by its dissatisfied workforce.

Frontier Communications

4. Frontier Communications

If you’re considering jumping ship to the telecommunication provider Frontier Communications, think twice. Of its 10000+ plus employees, only 23% would recommend the company to a friend, citing poor management, limited growth opportunities, frequent, unnecessary changes, and a poor working culture as just some of the reasons why. CEO Dan McCarthy has to take some of the blame for the terrible reviews, especially when you consider the fact only 14% of Glassdoor users approve of his leadership.

The Fresh Market

3. The Fresh Market

With a ranking of 2.3/5 on Glassdoor, The Fresh Market may be serving its customer’s needs, but it’s clearly not doing the same for its 10000+ employees. Its CEO Larry Appel has to take the brunt of the blame, with only 27% of employees approving of his management. Meager pay, a poor work/life balance, and limited career prospects are all cited as some of the other reasons why 76% of its staff wouldn’t recommend The Fresh Market to their friends.

United Biosource

2. United Biosource

In at number 2 with a Glassdoor rating of, appropriately enough, 2.2 is United BioSource. It may be one of the leaders in pharmaceutical support services, but its dedication to “global product safety, brand loyalty, and patient access strategies” clearly doesn’t extend to fostering a healthy work/life balance, fair pay, career stability, or a supportive management system. Perhaps that’s why only 21% of employees would recommend the company to a friend, and only 24% are willing to offer their approval to CEO Patrick Lindsay.

Union Pacific

1. Union Pacific

In poll position on our list of the worst companies to work for in 2019 is the transportation management company, Union Pacific. According to its website, Union Pacific has been “Building America for more than 155 years by serving customers, communities, and shareholders with a passion for performance, high ethical standards and teamwork”. While we wouldn’t wish to contradict such a grand mission statement, you have to ask yourself where it’s getting its facts from. Going by the reviews on Glassdoor, there’s very little evidence of teamwork or high ethical standards at play, and while the company’s 10000+ employees may be performing well, they certainly don’t feel rewarded for it. With complaints of poor wages and limited opportunities for progression littering the ‘net, it’s easy to understand why only 12% of UP’s employees approve of CEO Lance Fitz, and only 22% would recommend the company to a friend.

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Updated: September 18, 2022 — 8:33 PM

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