Who's the worst boss in the US?

A new report takes Dish Network's founder and chairman Charles Ergen to task for treatment of the company's employees.

By Aimee Picchi Jan 4, 2013 2:48PM

Image: Charles 'Charlie' Ergen, chairman and co-founder of Dish Network Corp (© Jonathan Alcorn/Bloomberg via Getty Images)Bad bosses aren't uncommon, but according to one report there's one that stands a head above (or should it be below?) the rest of America's managers: Dish Network (DISH) Chairman Charles Ergen. 


Ergen, with an estimated net worth of $9 billion, doesn't allow its employees to have company credit cards -- and for many years would deduct money from an employee's paycheck if they tipped more than 15%, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.


Expecting workers at their desks no later than 9 a.m., Dish previously used identification badges for entry to its headquarters. But after noting that some workers were asking colleagues to "badge-in" for them, Ergen reportedly had the company switch over to fingerprint scanners. 


"Multiple ex-employees say it’s not uncommon to see Ergen publicly berate an executive for scanning in a few minutes late," the article notes, "even if that executive had spent the previous 12 hours at home working through the night."


Ergen isn't warm and fuzzy to Wall Street, either. Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Craig Moffett tells Businessweek that when he first started in his job, he asked to fly to Denver to meet with Dish's management. Dish responded, "We’re too busy creating value around here to sit down and talk about it. Thanks but no thanks.”


Despite his critics, Ergen's focus appears to have helped the company's bottom line: Dish has beaten estimates for five out of the last eight quarters, and its stock jumped 27% last year.


A spokesman for Dish told the New York Post, "It is a challenging place to work." He added that Dish is a "cost-conscious company", where executives are required to share hotel rooms when they travel.


Since Ergen stepped down as chief executive, the company has relaxed some policies: for instance, it's now acceptable to leave a 17% tip without getting your paycheck dinged. 


On employment site Glassdoor.com, Dish receives only 2.2 stars out of 5, based on roughly 600 reviews from employees. That means its workers are "dissatisfied." But one recent reviewer, who awarded Dish just one star, wrote, "Joe Clayton (CEO) put us up to upgrading our score." 


A Dish spokesman tells MSN Money Now that Clayton has encouraged employees to read the Businessweek article and add reviews to the employment site. According to an excerpt from the memo, Clayton wrote, "If you are happy here at DISH, and believe the company is moving in the right direction, log on to glassdoor.com (here) and provide feedback."


The spokesman adds, "It's Joe's regular practice to solicit direct feedback -- good and bad -- from employees so we can improve the business. This is an effort we take very seriously."


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230Comments
Jan 4, 2013 6:04PM
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Compassionate people get better results when standing before St. Peter
Jan 4, 2013 6:04PM
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Eventually, people will start to realize that, no matter how "valuable" a particular person appears to be, it is more costly in the long-run to continue to employ an a$$hole. 
Jan 4, 2013 6:03PM
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Robert Wiedmaier is without question the worst employer in America....  Greed, infidelity, an inate inability to properly manage/lead his employees to name just a few...  Add in some bi-polar/schizophrenia tendencies and there you have it....    ROBERT WIEDMAIER... The Worst Employer in America
Jan 4, 2013 6:03PM
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You're supposed to get to work on time.   I work with people who work 10-6 and they still get to work late every day.  And he's your boss, not your friend.  Too many people go to work and treat it like it's a giant social club.   However, he sounds like one of those bosses who doesn't let his employees their job. 
Jan 4, 2013 6:03PM
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Best decision I've made is to drop both of them and stream programming from the internet with a Roku. I get local and network tv with an antennae for free in HD.  There's a few things I can't get but big fat deal. I don't miss any of it. There's more out there than I could ever watch. Saves me over $120 bucks a month. The landscape of how we all get our entertainment is changing and the old school cable/dish companies are scrambling for business. They need to lower their prices and adjust their business expectations to the current marketplace.
Jan 4, 2013 6:01PM
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Got money but i promise he not happy on the inside. Someone will knock him on his as one day. Then again down the road. I'm sure it happened to him before. He just runs in the house to his mammy crying for his bottle of milk. As holes only get bigger when the wallet get thicker. I wave my wond to you Charles Ergen......................................boo.....................wow i could of had a v8 before i wrote this out. And is it true that Charles Ergen son is Obana. That explains when you call you get someone who you can't understand them.
Jan 4, 2013 6:01PM
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A boss who insists his employees show up on time is the worst boss in America?  Is this a joke?  I once had a boss who would take ALL your tips, physically push you around, and use humiliating verbal and punishment tactics in front of your other coworkers to shame you if you made a mistake.  The people who think this guy is a bad boss for wanting them at work on time, they need a reality check.
Jan 4, 2013 5:59PM
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Where did he get his money? Anybody? He got it from consumers. That is the reason everything cost so much. It has never been because the employee who is responsible for creating, maintaining, and delivering the finished product is  making to much money. Actual worker 30 K a year, verses 500 million a year for somebody who goes to lunch has meetings and pushes paper. The guy has 9 billion $  and tips 15%. People who actually work for a living, who understand working for a living tip far more. The guy's a jerk because he can be. He's a DICtator. Way to represent the top 1 %.
Jan 4, 2013 5:58PM
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A guy I know had the worst boss. Negative, always complaining, worked nearly half to death, long hours, etc...

 

Then I remembered he was self employed.

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first of all if you don't like the job quiet company's have rules just like the military also employee theft is the largest theft in this country and i have been a victim of it wal -mart estimates they lose 8 billion a year due to employee theft and they have to build that into there profits so you and i pay for it when we make a purchase
Jan 4, 2013 5:57PM
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You don't become CEO/Chairman by being nice or treating your workers (or human beings for that matter) with "respect".  This guy is the text book example of a true sociopath.  Very useful when it comes to making stockholders money.
Jan 4, 2013 5:57PM
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so typical of a rich sob... perhaps he should run for the house of reps and join jon boner.
Jan 4, 2013 5:55PM
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These people work for him and he gets his money by them working for him.  He doesn't  get that captalism is not one way.  He has a very delusional kind of thinking that his way  is to be a tryant and obnoxious as if his employees are slaves.  Sorry pal, you being the worst boss just made you number one slave to your own ignorance and attitude.  You  should put those billions of dollars to good use and get some psychotherapy to help in your ignorance  and attitude adjustment.  
Jan 4, 2013 5:51PM
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So very sad!! What happened to work ethic???  How dare a boss demand that his people be at work on time and at their desk working...Isnt that what you get paid to do? Go to work do your job?   Really???? I dont see how this makes for a bad employer?  You are hired to do a job and come in at a given time!!!!
Jan 4, 2013 5:50PM
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I was a Dish customer in Nevada when a message scrawled across the bottom of my TV advising that Dish was having trouble coming to terms with one of the television stations. They used the name of a former foreign owher who had passed away, perhaps hoping that the arabic sounding name would garner more sympathy for Dish's plight, but they failed to come to terms and one night, the channel was dark and Dish used the space to blame the station.

 

By the way, they didn't offer a price reduction to subscribers even though this was the local CBS affiliate that they had dropped.

Jan 4, 2013 5:49PM
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He doesn't allow employees to be "on the clock" when they're not present.  And 9am?  I and many I know start work at 5am, 6am, 7am....  And if you were a stockholder, how would you feel to know employees are allowed to use company credit cards to tip as they wish?     A terrible boss?
Jan 4, 2013 5:48PM
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Sounds like a dam smart business man.   You sheeple think that everything should be free and you are entitled... So the facts are 1.  He did not accept tardiness of his employees  2.  He did not allow employees leverage to tip over 15%--- how bout you?   Could I tip 50% of YOUR money if I went out to eat on YOUr dime because I thought the waitress was hot? 

 

You people have no idea how hard it is to run a business...

Jan 4, 2013 5:46PM
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Who is this idiot to tell someone what they can or cannot tip? Hey a**hole, it's my paycheck and I will do what I want with it.
Jan 4, 2013 5:46PM
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I've worked for people like this, they usually come to a bad end. When everyone secretly hates you and will do anything to bring you down, it usually happens. Of course they often go their merry way with a  pocket full of cash.
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