Judge blasts bankrupt Hertz’s ‘offensive’ plan to pay big bonuses

A federal judge blasted bankrupt car-rental firm Hertz’s proposal to pay top executives millions of dollars in bonuses as she shot down the plan Thursday.

US Bankruptcy Judge Mary Walrath directed the beleaguered company to revise its “offensive” proposal offering up to $14.6 million in bonuses to Hertz employees, including $5.4 million for senior executives.

Walrath noted that Hertz already made about $16 million in so-called retention payments to employees before the Florida-based firm filed for bankruptcy in May.

“It seems offensive to give senior executives bonuses” when some of them got extra money just a few months ago, Walrath said during a Thursday hearing, according to Bloomberg News.

Walrath told Hertz’s lawyers to change the goals company employees would have to meet to receive the new bonuses. The proposal would give the payments to 14 senior executives and roughly 295 managers, Bloomberg reported.

“More has to be done to show why employees who got retention bonuses and agreed to stay with the company are not going to do their best to see that the company survives and succeeds,” Walrath said during the hearing, according to the news service.

Florida-based Hertz did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday.

Hertz filed for Chapter 11 in May as the coronavirus pandemic crippled global demand for travel. The company made headlines in June with a controversial plan to raise bankruptcy financing by selling $500 million in potentially worthless stock. Hertz scrapped the plan after the Securities and Exchange Commission raised concerns about it.

With Post wires