2017 Living Wage Employer Certification Application
Thank you in advance for filling out the application. If you have any questions, please contact Carmen Ramos-Kennedy at 828-505-7466 or
Living Wage Concept and Formula:
Our basic philosophy is that a person working 40 hours a week/52 weeks a year should be able to afford to pay for their basic needs without government or private assistance. Recognizing that many people are unable to obtain full time employment, our rate applies to full and part time employees. We define basic needs as housing, food, taxes, healthcare, transportation, and other necessities. We set an hourly wage rate based on the Universal Living Wage formula and adjust this wage rate annually based on our formula for adjustment so long as there is a 3% or greater change. Specific information regarding our formula is available at
Certification Program Details
As part of Certification, we ask each employer to post a “Living Wage Certification Information” poster provided by Just Economics, in an area that is highly visible to your employees and near your required NC labor law poster. This application is considered confidential and privileged information, it will only be shown to our program coordinator, board of directors, and our certification committee members. No copies will be made, or distributed. If an employer is no longer able to pay a living wage, Just Economics asks to be notified. In order to ensure accurate information from employers, we reserve the right to randomly review a small number of employers quarterly by interviewing a percentage of their employees. Additionally, it is important that the employer understand that the employees may have questions or concerns about the program, and it is important that an employer agree not to take retaliatory action against an employee raising concerns. If a concern is raised, Just Economics will follow a set of protocol in receiving more information. If an employer is found not to be paying a living wage and is unable to adjust their wages, Just Economics will remove them from our list in a non-public manner. Just Economics will not approve or deny an application by an employer while there is a known and active employee organizing effort or collective bargaining labor dispute. Any application that is submitted to JE during an active and known organizing campaign or collective bargaining labor dispute will be held by Just Economics until the organizing campaign, negotiations, or collective bargaining disputes are resolved. Any questions regarding the certification process or criteria should be directed towards Carmen Ramos-Kennedy, Living Wage Program Coordinator; 828-505-7466 or
2017 Program Criteria:
-Our 2017 wage rate is $13.00/hour for employees without employer provided health insurance or $11.50/hour for employees with employer provided health insurance or employees reimbursed for at least 50% of their cost of health insurance. Both full time and part-time employees must meet the above criteria. Employers using the rate with health insurance must make the offer of health insurance to any employee being paid that rate, though the employee may choose to decline that offer. -An employer may pay less than a living wage to apprentices, temporary or project-based employees, minors working part-time, interns, tipped employees, and a new hire in a probationary period not to exceed 90 days. These circumstances will require additional information and will be reviewed by our certification committee and board of directors. -An employer may offset the wage rate by providing benefits that affect basic needs (healthcare, housing, food, or transportation). Any offset will require additional information and will be reviewed by our certification committee and board of directors.
This application is for both new Certifications and Re-certifications.
Living Wage Certification Application Fee
In order to complete the application, you will need to pay an application fee, unless you are a non-profit employe. This non-refundable fee applies for Certification (lasts two calendar years) or Recertification (either 1 year or 2 years). You will be prompted to pay this fee upon completion of this on-line application. 0-10 employees = $50 11-25 employees = $100 26-50 employees = $200 51+ employees = $250 Non-profits = Free Charge If you have any questions regarding this fee or the process, please contact Carmen Ramos-Kennedy at 828.505.7466 or
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