Even where there is agreement that employers ought to pay their employees fairly, there is considerable disagreement about what constitutes fairness in particular cases. This discussion of fairness in compensation is aimed at describing a set of principles or guidelines that can shape and inform the judgments of a prudent manager. The criteria of distributive justice require first of all that basic needs be met (and so there will be a minimum fair level of compensation) and secondly that similar employees be treated similarly. For ordinary employees who do participate fully in a community of work, fairness in compensation is determined by the principles of distributive justice, with special emphasis given to the protection of the human dignity of the employee. For other, non-ordinary employees, who do not participate fully (or perhaps at all) in a community of work, fairness in compensation is determined by the principles of commutative justice.
Kennedy, Robert G.
"The Practice of Just Compensation,"
Journal of Religion and Business Ethics: Vol. 1, Article 1.
Available at: https://via.library.depaul.edu/jrbe/vol1/iss1/1