Base teleworkers' pay on location? How to avoid backlash.

Living on the upper east side of New York City costs a lot more than, say, living in rural Texas. And as more employees work remotely, some companies are reflecting that difference in their pay levels.

For example, Google recently told teleworkers they could keep working from home, but they should expect to be paid less if they live/work in a lower-cost area. (Example: Google telecommuters in Connecticut are paid 15% less than teleworkers in New York City.)

If you are considering adjusting pay for remote employees, expect backlash. Two tactics will make it easier to weather the criticism:

  1. Develop a formal telework policy. Many employers never documented their policies in 2020 when COVID triggered an exodus from the office. Now is the time. Find a sample agreement at

  2. Set specific criteria. Decide whether you...

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