When I was hired, I don't recall being informed about my salary being tied to my location. My employment contract also only makes one mention of location, and says "home office" and my state. I was recently told by HR though that if I move, my comp. will be lower. Is this legal? Should I consult a labor lawyer?

In my mind, I don't recall being told this and it's not clear from my employment contract, so I feel like they're breaking our agreement, and it feels unfair.

Thoughts on what to do?

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Assuming you’re in the U.S. and your contract doesn’t have a guaranteed duration and amount they owe you if they violate contractual terms and/or ask you to leave earlier, you’re an employee at will and they can do almost anything they want, including cutting your salary by 50% for the heck of it.

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OP, you can disagree or decline the change of your terms of employment.... by leaving your current company. Your option, if they say they are cutting your wages, is to say okay or find another job.

Most people don't have employment contracts that say they will pay $x for y years. If you don't have a contract like that, they can change the $x anytime they want.

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I think this is pretty standard practice. Most companies that hire remote employees base their salaries by markets, informed by the COL in those markets. If you’re moving from NYC to middle-of-nowhere Nebraska there’s going to be an adjustment. Not sure you have a leg to stand on.

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I think not only is it related to COL but there are also tax implications as well.

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Very reasonable. Plenty of companies have COL adjustments. What would you say is the breach/what clause are they breaking?

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In an at-will labor market, it's incumbent on you as the applicant to establish clauses that you explicitly want for your own protection (although good luck pushing through a change in boilerplate for any major company, they will just move on without you).

likehelpful

It’s normal. If you live in a high cost of living then move to a low one, they should t decrease your pay, but your next promo or raise won’t be as much from the first higher COL location. Once you are hired at 1 salary they shouldn’t decrease it if you move. I guess the technically can but that’s quite petty.

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Every company is different but I would ask what the increase would be if you decided to move to a more expensive place. See what they say.

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When I have moved when I worked at other companies, I had one experience where they reduced my salary and one where they kept it the same but then had flat raises afterwards. The time that I had my salary reduced, they said I would be outside of the pay band for that city for my role and would be making more than my manager. For the other one, my salary stayed flat but I didn’t get a raise for a few years.

It’s common to adjust for COL when you move.

helpful

Thanks for sharing your experiences. I know CoL as a concept is a thing, but for some reason I thought that changing comp down from what's written in my contract would violate the contract unless the provisions are stipulated, but unfortunately consensus here seems to be that's not the case.

Honestly, just don’t tell them that you’re moving🤷🏽‍♂️ how would they find out if you’re remote?

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IP address and VPN connection?

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If you are in the US
Remember that it is at will
So they can change the contract and if you don’t like it you can leave

When you were hired you also told your employer that you were living in specific location
Wouldnt changing that also break said contract?

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