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Thursday, November 12, 2009

"Wage" and "Salary" Defined

The term "wages," as distinguished from "salary," applies to the compensation for manual labor, skilled or unskilled, paid at stated times, and measured by the day, week, month, or season, while "salary" denotes a higher degree of employment, or a superior grade of services, and implies a position or office; by contrast, the term "wages" indicates inconsiderable pay for a lower and less responsible character of employment, while "salary" is suggestive of a larger and more permanent or fixed compensation for more important service. 

By some of the authorities, it has been noted that the word "wages" in its ordinary acceptance, has a less extensive meaning than the word "salary," "wages" being ordinarily restricted to sums paid as hire or reward to domestic or menial servants and to sums paid to artisans, mechanics, laborers, and other employees of like class, as distinguished from the compensation of clerks, officers of public corporations, and public offices.  

In many situations, however, the words "wages" and "salary" are synonymous. (35 Am. Jur., Sec. 63, pp. 496-497)

Our Supreme Court reached the same conclusion, i.e., the words "wages" and "salary" are in essence synonymous.

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