WorldCom has asked for Bankruptcy Court permission to pay 7,100 employees more than $9 million it has promised them from sales and promotions contests.
As they did with severance payments, bankruptcy rules prevented WorldCom from paying workers any more than $4,650 it owed them in supplemental income such as contest winnings.
The company successfully petitioned the court for the right to pay full severance packages in September. In October, the company won the right to pay former workers $36 million in severance.
In its filing Tuesday, the company said it needs to pay workers the contest winnings they have earned to keep employees motivated.
“Further delay in remitting compensation earned under the supplemental programs severely compromises WorldCom’s relationship with their most motivated and productive employees,” the company said in its filing. “Moreover, failure to pay these amounts may irreparably damage employee morale, dedication, confidence, loyalty and cooperation. The support of such employees for WorldCom’s reorganization efforts is crucial to the success of WorldCom’s reorganization.”
The largest block of money owed is to 4,400 customer service workers. WorldCom said it owes those employees $3.6 million for reaching customer service and support targets.
The firm also said it owes $3 million to 500 sales managers, $1.45 million to 82 sales vice president and $1.2 million to 2,050 sales workers.