Google employees who worked in the same office before the pandemic could see different pay changes if they switch to working from home permanently, which would hit long commuters harder, according to a company pay calculator.
It is an experiment that’s taking place across Silicon Valley, often setting trends for other big employers.
Facebook and Twitter are also cutting pay for remote workers moving to less expensive areas, while smaller companies such as Reddit and Zillow have switched to location-agnostic pay models because they offer the advantages in hiring, retention and diversity.
Google is the only exception, as it provides employees with a calculator that allows them to see the effects of moving, but in reality, remote employees, especially those commuting long distances, could experience pay cuts without changing their address.
Photos of Google’s internal payroll calculator show that a worker living in Stamford, Connecticut – an hour’s train ride from New York City, would get 15% less pay if she worked from home, while a colleague from the same office living in New York City would not get any cuts from working from home. Screenshots also showed differences of 5% and 10% in the Seattle, Boston, and San Francisco areas.
Interviews with Google employees show pay cuts of up to 25% for remote work when they move from San Francisco to an area of the state like Lake Tahoe that is actually just as expensive.
A Google spokesperson stated that the company would not change an employee’s salary when they move from office work to work from home in the city where the office is located.
For more information, read the original story in Reuters.