Learn more about Pete Peterson-funded astroturf projects at the Fix the Debt Portal.
Learn more about corporations VOTING to rewrite our laws.
|Company Name||Verizon Communications|
|CEO Name||Lowell McAdam|
|CEO Retirement Assets||$8,725,445|
|Underfunded Company Pension||-$6,472,000,000|
|Annual Company Revenue||$110,875,000,000|
|Tax Dodger ('08-'10)||-2.9%|
|Territorial Tax Break||$525,000,000|
|Federal Lobbying/Political Donations ('09-'12*)||$61,890,000|
|Click here for sources.
2011 data unless otherwise noted.
©2013 Center for Media and Democracy
Verizon (NTSE: VZ) is a telecommunications company headquartered in New York (and incorporated in Delaware). The company formed in 2000 with the merger of Bell Atlantic Corp. and GTE Corp.
In 2011, Verizon had a total revenue of $110 billion.
- 1 Ties to American Legislative Exchange Council
- 2 Federal Contracting and Opposition to Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order
- 3 Ties to Pete Peterson's "Fix the Debt"
- 4 Tax Dodging
- 5 Personnel
- 6 Political contributions
- 7 Lobbying
- 8 Contact details
- 9 Resources and articles
Ties to American Legislative Exchange Council
Verizon is a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). It has been on the corporate "Private Enterprise" board and is State corporate co-chair of Virginia and Wyoming. It has been a member of the ALEC Telecommunications and Information Technology Task Force.
ALEC is a corporate bill mill. It is not just a lobby or a front group; it is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, corporations hand state legislators their wishlists to benefit their bottom line. Corporations fund almost all of ALEC's operations. They pay for a seat on ALEC task forces where corporate lobbyists and special interest reps vote with elected officials to approve “model” bills. Learn more at the Center for Media and Democracy's ALECexposed.org, and check out breaking news on our PRWatch.org site.
Federal Contracting and Opposition to Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order
A Verizon executive sits on the board of the HR Policy Association (HRPA), a trade association. HRPA is a major opponent of the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order, an order issued by President Obama in 2014 that aims to ensure that federal contractors comply with federal wage laws, health and safety standards, and civil rights laws.
An investigation by the Center for Media and Democracy of OSHA inspection records found that numerous corporations (and/or their subsidiaries)--including Verizon--whose executives sit on the boards had been cited for serious and repeat violations of OSHA standards from 2013-2015 that would be reportable under the EO. A "serious" violation indicates "a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result" from a hazard, a "willful" violation is cited when "evidence shows either an intentional violation of the Act or plain indifference to its requirements," and a "repeat" violation indicates the business "has been cited previously for a substantially similar condition."
- Telecommunications giant Verizon Communications Inc. and its subsidiaries received federal contracts worth $487.8 million in 2012, according to a U.S. Senate report.
- As described in more detail below, between 2013-2015, Verizon Communications Inc. or its corporate subsidiaries incurred 7 “Serious” and 13 “Other-than-Serious” OSHA violations along with $46,750 in penalties. These include an April 2015 incident in which a Verizon worker had a hand caught in a wire and had to be airlifted to a New York hospital. Verizon was cited for a “Serious” violation of OSHA’s hand and power tools standard and fined $7,000, the maximum allowable penalty. The case remains open, pending abatement of violations.
- Tragic Electrocution Death in Brooklyn
- In 2012, OSHA found Verizon Communications, Inc. subsidiary Verizon New York, Inc. had committed multiple serious and repeat violations, including inadequate training and safety equipment, and gave Verizon New York a $140,700 fine, the maximum penalty allowed, due to the 2011 electrocution death of death of Douglas Lalima in Brooklyn. The case was closed in February, 2014 following a formal settlement that resulted in 2 “Serious” and 1 “Repeat” violations, but increased the fines to $147,000. The Repeat violation related to the OSHA standard for telecommunications, requiring the employer to provide rubber insulating equipment designed for the voltage levels to be encountered and to ensure that they are used by employees as required.
- The incident was described in a 2013 U.S. Senate report, which labeled Verizon Communications, Inc. a “severe violator” of OSHA health and safety standards. The report described how the cherry picker bucket in which Lalima was working burst into flames. According to the report, “an inspection found that the employee and bucket were too close to the power line, the employee had not been adequately trained, and he lacked insulated gloves.”
- The tragedy was compounded by the fact that OSHA had cited the Verizon subsidiary, Verizon New York, for some of the same safety violations in 2007 after another worker died in Rhode Island. “The recurring nature of some of these hazards is disturbing,” said OSHA area director Kay Gee.
- Additional Complaints
- In 2011, the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a rare lawsuit against Verizon Communications, Inc. and 24 named subsidiaries for unlawfully denying reasonable accommodations to hundreds of employees in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Verizon ultimately settled for $20 million, at the time the largest disability discrimination settlement in a single lawsuit in EEOC history. This case would not trigger specific action under the Executive Order, as the settlement occurred prior to the EO’s three-year look-back period. However, it is included to give an indication of the company’s overall record of compliance with the laws covered by the order.
- In 2012, a class action lawsuit was brought against Verizon Services Corporation, dba Verizon California, Inc (a subsidiary of Verizon Communications, Inc) by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing under California's Family Rights Act. One victim described how she was repeatedly denied family and medical leave to help care for her elderly mother, who was suffering from Alzheimer's. The suit resulted in a $6 million settlement. However, this case would not trigger specific action under the Executive Order, as it was settled outside the three-year look- back period. Additionally, while the Executive Order requires companies to report violations of state labor laws “equivalent” to the enumerated federal laws, such as this California statute, the Obama administration has not yet issued guidance and regulations to implement this aspect of the Order. Nonetheless, this case is included to give an indication of the company’s failure to comply with important workplace laws.
Related Articles: Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces
- "Reporters' Guide: Federal Contractors with History of OSHA Violations Battle New Safety Rules," PR Watch, February 16, 2016.
- Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order
- Professional Services Council
- HR Policy Association
PR Watch Series on OSHA Violators
- "From Receptionists to Rocket Scientists, MANPOWER Undermines Higher Wages," PR Watch, September 3, 2015.
- "DuPont Rakes in Federal Dollars Despite History of Hazards," PR Watch, February 29, 2016.
- "Honeywell's String of Dangerous Close Calls Doesn't Stop Flow of Taxpayer Dollars," PR Watch, March 9, 2016.
- "The Safety Violations Billion-Dollar Contractor BAE Systems Should Have to Disclose," PR Watch, March 16, 2016.
- "Shaky Safety Record for Billion-Dollar Contractor AECOM Overseeing Nuclear Facilities," PR Watch, March 31, 2016.
- "Acting Responsibly? Federal Contractors Frequently Put Workers' Lives and Livelihoods at Risk," U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, Tom Harkin, Chair. December 11, 2013.
- "At Our Expense: Federal Contractors that Harm Workers Also Shortchange Taxpayers," Karla Walter and David Madland, Center for American Progress, December 2013.
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration, OSHA homepage.
- Federal Contractor Misconduct Database, Project on Government Oversight.
Ties to Pete Peterson's "Fix the Debt"
The Campaign to Fix the Debt is the latest incarnation of a decades-long effort by former Nixon man turned Wall Street billionaire Pete Peterson to slash earned benefit programs such as Social Security and Medicare under the guise of fixing the nation's "debt problem." Verizon Communications is part of the Campaign to Fix the Debt as of February 2013.
This article is part of the Center for Media and Democracy's investigation of Pete Peterson's Campaign to "Fix the Debt." Please visit our main SourceWatch page on Fix the Debt.
|About Fix the Debt|
The Campaign to Fix the Debt is the latest incarnation of a decades-long effort by former Nixon man turned Wall Street billionaire Pete Peterson to slash earned benefit programs such as Social Security and Medicare under the guise of fixing the nation's "debt problem." Through a special report and new interactive wiki resource, the Center for Media and Democracy -- in partnership with the Nation magazine -- exposes the funding, the leaders, the partner groups, and the phony state "chapters" of this astroturf supergroup. Learn more at PetersonPyramid.org and in the Nation magazine.
From 2008 to 2010 Verizon paid an effective federal income tax rate of -2.9% shown in the report Corporate Taxpayers and Corporate Tax Dodgers. Verizon received $951 million in rebates, which put its federal tax subsidies at $12.3 billion. Verizon received at least $180.8 million in state and local subsidies in recent years - extracted in exchange for locating facilities and supposedly creating jobs. During the past three years, the total number of employees at Verizon has fallen by more than 40,000 and the company’s capital expenditures have declined by $1 billion. These subsidies did not lead to higher compensation for Verizon’s employees and the company is demanding more than $1 billion in wage and benefit concessions from its 45,000 union-represented workers.  
Board of Directors
As of February 2013
- Richard L. Carrion
- Joseph Neubauer
- Melanie L. Healey
- Donald T. Nicolaisen
- M. Frances Keeth
- Clarence Otis, Jr.
- Robert W. Lane
- Hugh B. Price
- Lowell C. McAdam - Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Verizon Communications Inc.
- Rodney E. Slater
- Sandra O. Moose
- Kathryn A. Tesija
|Key executives and 2006 pay: ||Options
|Ivan Seidenberg, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer||$2,100,000||$1,800,000|
|Dennis F. Strigl, Chief Operating Officer||$1,130,000||$0|
|Doreen A. Toben, Chief Financial Officer||$825,000||$0|
|William P. Barr, Executive Vice President and General Counsel||$840,000||$0|
|Lawrence T. Babbio Jr., Advisor||$1,200,000||$0|
In 2010, Verizon gave a total of $1.6 million to federal candidates. $783,541 to Democrats and $809,206 to Republicans. Of that total, $97,570 was given by individuals and $1.52 million was contributed by the PAC.
On June 30, 2011, the Center for Responsive Politics wrote, "Contributions to lawmakers and federal lobbying expenditures by telecommunications interests have spiked as a result of government intervention in the market. Facing potentially stifling federal regulations that threaten to short-circuit their profits, AT&T, Sprint, Verizon and T-Mobile have each dumped millions of dollars into campaign contributions and federal lobbying expenditures, hoping that a barrage of political influence will subdue any unwanted restrictions." 
Between 2009 and 2011, Verizon spent $2,686,585 on federal campaign contributions. 
Peter Davidson, Senior Vice President for Federal Government Relations (lobbyist) at Verizon, was a Bush Pioneer. Davidson passed twice through the government-industry revolving door serving as general counsel and policy director to then-House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-Texas). Davidson then worked for Qwest Communications, then in the George W. Bush administration with the U.S. Trade Representative, then moving to Verizon.  
Verizon lobbied for over 110 bills in the House and Senate in 2010.
The company spent $13,050,000 for lobbying in 2006. About half of the money went for in-house lobbyists with the remainder being spent on over 40 lobbying firms, some of which were Federalist Group, Patton Boggs, Ernst & Young, Quinn Gillespie & Associates, Bryan Cave Strategies, DCI Group, Cassidy & Associates, The Livingston Group, Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw, and Parry Romani DeConcini & Symms. 
According to a Public Campaign report, Verizon spent $52.34 million on lobbying between 2008-2010. During the same time period, it received $951 million in tax rebates, and made $32.518 in US profits, meaning it paid a tax rate of -3%. Executive compensation also 167%, from $7,635,651 in 2008 to $20,361,064 in 2010. 
140 West St.
New York, NY 10007
Resources and articles
Related SourceWatch resources
Featured SourceWatch Articles on Fix the Debt
- Fix the Debt Portal Page
- Fix the Debt's Leadership
- Fix the Debt's Partner Groups
- Fix the Debt's State Chapters
- Fix the Debt's Lobbyists
- Fix the Debt's Parent Group
- Fix the Debt's Corporations
- Pete Peterson
- Peter G. Peterson Foundation
- America Speaks
- Simpson-Bowles Commission
- Erskine Bowles
- Alan Simpson
- Social Security
- Jeff Tyler, "Faking the count: Verizon is among the phone companies fighting for the right to compete directly with cable companies", Marketplace, NPR, April 27, 2006.
- "History" Chapter 1, Verizon.com, accessed July 10, 2011.
- "2011 Annual Report", Verizon, 2011.
- History Chapter 2, Verizon.com, accessed July 10, 2011.
- Ivan Seidenberg profile, Forbes.com, accessed July 10, 2011.
- American Legislative Exchange Council Private Enterprise Board, organization website, accessed June 9, 2011
- American Legislative Exchange Council, "Solutions for the States," 38th Annual Meeting agenda, on file with CMD, August 3-6, 2011
- TI Task Force Meetings, ALEC website, accessed July 10, 2011.
- Scheberle bio, Bingham Consulting website, accessed July 10, 2011.
- President Barack Obama, "Executive Order --Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces," government document, July 31, 2014.
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration, "Inspection Documentation," government documentation, accessed October 2015.
- Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, "Acting Responsibly? Federal Contractors Frequently Put Workers Lives and Livelihoods at Risk," U.S. Senate committee report, December 11, 2013.
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration, "Search results: Verizon," inspection case records, database accessed January 2016.
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration, "Inspection: 1057006.015 - Verizon," inspection case record, database accessed January 2016.
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration, "US Labor Department's OSHA cites Verizon NY Inc. for repeat and serious safety violations following utility worker's death in Brooklyn," press release, March 19, 2013.
- U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, "Verizon to Pay $20 Million to Settle Nationwide EEOC Disability Suit," press release, July 6, 2011.
- California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, "DFEH v. Verizon Class Action Settlement," state government website, accessed January 2016.
- Chris Thompson, "Subsidizing Contractor Misconduct: Alma's Story," CorpWatch, January 2015.
- Laura Clawson Verizon pays a negative federal income tax rate, then pursues more tax breaks, Daily Kos, November 16, 2011
- Robert S. McIntyre, Matthew Gardner, Rebecca J. Wilkins, Richard Phillips Corporate Taxpayers and Corporate Tax Dodgers 2008 - 10, CTJ.org, November 2011
- "Meet the Board", Verizon, Accessed February 11, 2013.
- Verizon Key Executives, Yahoo Finance, accessed September 2007.
- Verizon Communications Contributions,"Open Secrets.org"
- Center for Responsive Politics, Ivan Seidenberg Political Contributions, Open Secrets, accessed July 10, 2011.
- McCain "bundlers", Open Secrets, accessed July 10, 2011.
- Center for Responsive Politics, Capital Rivals: A Telecom Battle Royal, Open Secrets, June 30, 2011, accessed July 10, 2011.
- For Hire: Lobbyists or the 99%? How Corporations Pay More for Lobbyists Than in Taxes Public Campaign, December 2011
- Bush Pioneer Ivan Seidenberg, Texans for Public Justice, accessed September 2007.
- Bush Pioneer Peter Davidson, Texans for Public Justice, accessed September 2007.
- Daniel Lathrop, "Bells vs. AT&T", The Center for Public Integrity, October 28, 2004.
- 2006 PAC Summary Data, Open Secrets.
- Verizon Communications Lobbying, "Open Secrets.org"
- Public Campaign, For Hire: Lobbyists or the 99%? How Corporations Pay More for Lobbyists Than in Taxes, organizational report, December 2011
- Verizon Communications Lobbying,"Open Secrets.org"
- Verizon Communications lobbying expenses, Open Secrets.
- For Hire: Lobbyists or the 99%? How Corporations Pay More for Lobbyists Than in Taxes Public Campaign, December 2011