Stress in workers

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Bill York, in his letter about a minimum wage hike ("A Minimum Wage Hike Affects All Compensation," Feb. 21), states that a supervisor "has more job stress than his or her subordinates" and suggests that this entitles him or her to greater compensation.

It may be true that Mr. York suffered more stress than his subordinates, but this runs counter to a study by researchers from Harvard's Decision Science laboratory. They measured levels of the stress hormone cortisone in the saliva of leaders and subordinates. The finding? Subordinates had higher levels of the stress hormone than their superiors. The researchers tested leaders in stable situations who were supported by their organizations. They suggested that leaders in unstable situations might show higher stress levels.

I do not know what criteria should be used to determine a worker's compensation. Mr. York seems to believe that job stress justifies higher pay. If the Harvard study is to be believed and Mr. York's reasoning is followed, then one might argue that subordinates should receive higher pay than their superiors.

JOHN H. ANDERSON
Forest Hills


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