A Silicon Valley multinational company is mathematically renegotiating remote worker remuneration.
Google launched a new internal calculator in June that slashes the salary of many employees who choose to work remotely.
The New York Post revealed the Work Location Tool financially penalizes Google staff for increasing disposable income by moving away from New York City, San Francisco, and other cities with a high cost of living.
One Google employee from Washington state confirmed he could lose 10 percent of his income, if he stopped commuting to the Seattle office and worked full-time from home in a nearby county.
Coworkers in other locations have complained about having to commute two hours to the office, because they would lose too much money by working from home.
“It is as high of a pay cut as I got for my most recent promotion,” another worker revealed according to Reuters. “I did not do all [of] that hard work to get promoted to then take a pay cut.”
A San Franciscan team member thought it was a good idea to relocate to Lake Tahoe on the California-Nevada border, and was shocked to discover his Google salary would drop 25 percent if he worked from home.
A screenshot of the calculator shows employees, who commute one hour from Stamford, Connecticut to Manhattan, could lose 15 percent of their pay if they work from home.
Different screenshots show salary reductions of 5 percent to 10 percent for remote workers in the Seattle, Boston, and San Francisco areas.
Surprisingly, those who already live in New York City and choose to work from home permanently will have no pay cut at all.
The employer confirmed it indeed offers different wages, depending on the worker’s location.
“Our compensation packages have always been determined by location, and we always pay at the top of the local market based on where an employee works from,” a representative said according to the newswire agency.
BL understands the calculator uses U.S. Census Bureau metropolitan statistical areas (CBSA) data to determine how much employees should be paid. Stamford, Connecticut is excluded from New York City’s CBSA, even though many residents work in the Big Apple.
Washington University sociology professor Jake Rosenfeld believes Google does not need to discriminate based on where remote employees live.
“Google does not have to do this,” he said according to Reuters. “Google has paid these workers at 100 percent of their prior wage by definition, so it is not like they cannot afford to pay their workers who choose to work remotely the same that they are used to receiving.”
Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn have introduced similar measures. Smaller tech businesses like Reddit and Zillow insist on paying the same amount regardless of where employees live.