re: Why (I think) "Cost of Living" pay for remote workers is BS. VIEW POST


There's a reason military personnel who are at their 20yr mark try to ensure that they retire while stationed someplace like DC.

While I can understand a degree of distance-sensitive salary-scaling, it really only seems justifiable if the company is paying for everything involved in the inevitable "mothership" trips. Even there, it only makes sense if the aggregated mothership trip-costs exceed the delta in raw pay.

When you factor in (now) traditional retirement planning, it really becomes bogus. "Ok, you cut my salary because I moved, but now, in order to max my 401(k), I need to set aside 15% of that reduced salary vice the 9% of my salary when I was in the more expensive market."

Plus, how many companies that do location-aware compensation will scale it upwards if the job is notionally located in a market that is 80% the cost-of-living of where the candidate actually lives?


It's truly shocking to me how all these great points can be made, and companies still do this and insist it's "Fair to all employees"

Personally, I've never heard of company that does location based pay that isn't based in the Bay Area, so I don't even know where to check to see if I can find a company that will upscale your pay.


I don't really think it's unfair. Of course given that any employee is allowed to relocate anywhere else and have their salaries re-adjusted.


If the government counts as a company, they most definitely do. Though, in fairness, they do scale in both directions.

There have been a few that I've encountered - but never worked for - that toyed with location-scaled salaries. However they were pretty much all located in high labor-cost markets. And they pretty much all tried to use it as a method of reducing salaries of the remote workers.

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