Google will pay workers at its new office in Durham, North Carolina less than most other regions where it operates.
This has led to internal protests, including a petition filed by the Alphabet Workers Union which stated that decreasing employees’ salaries was unsatisfactory and could impact workers’ livelihood.
Google cited that the low cost of living in the Raleigh-Durham area led to the pay cut, but the petition questions why this reduction would occur following Google’s impressive stock market performance.
“Our goal is to always pay at the top of the local market, including in the Raleigh-Durham area,” said a Google spokesperson. “In our annual review, we found that our compensation guidelines in the Research Triangle region exceeded the market pay benchmarks, so we made adjustments to align with the local market.”
In 2020, Google informed workers that moved to less expensive areas that they could see pay cuts and provided a calculator that would give insight into how their salaries could be impacted.
Still, 85% of the over 10,000 Google employees that applied for remote work positions or to be transferred to a new office saw their requests being approved.
Other companies have also adopted this regional-based pay strategy, including Meta.
However, employees have grown to desire a better overall work experience following the traumatizing impact of the pandemic. This means having the ability to live in regions that are cheaper or closer to family, while also receiving a healthy salary.