Federal Managers Association
Opinions & Editorials
- Laptops & Locality Pay - August 3, 2021
Hear It from FMA, FEDMANAGER.com
Locality pay exists because some areas have significantly different costs of living from others. San Francisco, for example, has a locality pay 41.4% higher than federal General Schedule base pay. This is because of the vastly higher cost of living in San Francisco compared to much of the country; while the median rent in San Francisco costs $3,035 per month, the median rent in the state of West Virginia is $727 per month. Achieving the same lifestyle in some areas simply costs more than in others, which is why the federal government adjusts pay rates based on where you work.
Before telework, this was not a complicated issue. The requirement of being able to physically commute to and from the office imposed limits on where it was practical to live. As such, locality pay followed work location. If your office was located in the San Francisco locality pay area, you were paid accordingly. Telework, however, has thrown a new wrinkle into this issue.
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