re: Should remote workers be paid differently based on location? VIEW POST


Don't know if anyone has mentioned it here, but the US Military has had this figured out for decades.

You establish the base salary for the "average" position, and then you apply Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) adjustments (always up, never down) for high cost of living areas like NYC or San Francisco.

This is very easy for them given the exact nature of military pay, but I thought there were businesses that had figured this out as well.

A person can still negotiate their base, and still move wherever they like. If the area they move to is allowed a COLA adjustment, then at some point after the move they start receiving it. If not, they do not.

Divorce it from total pay and make it a standard percentage increase applied to all workers in that geographic region.


This is interesting. Seems like whenever we talk about adjusting to the cost of living, it's always about places where the cost of living is lower and therefore the salary should be decreased accordingly. Here, we have a contrary example where the salary can only go up if you live in places where the cost of living is high.

I can imagine that because a lot of "famous" tech companies are based around San Francisco, we have the "salary down" mentality rather than one that could resembles the US Military example.

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