2020 Rural WNC Living Wage Employer Certification Application
Thank you in advance for filling out the application. If you have any questions, please contact Emma Hutchens, 828.505.7466 or
This application is for all WNC Counties OUTSIDE of Buncombe, Jackson and Transylvania.
For the Buncombe County Application, click here:
For the Transylvania County Application, click here:
For the Jackson County Application, click here:
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 own” basic needs” without government or private assistance. We define basic needs as housing, food, taxes, healthcare, transportation, and other necessities. We set an hourly wage rate based on a formula. You can find out more about the Living Wage Certification Program and our rate by visiting
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. 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.
2020 Program Criteria:
-In 2019, the Just Economics Board passed a "rural" wage rate of $12.60/hour for WNC Counties outside of Buncombe County to reflect lower costs of living. This rate is reevaluated and adjusted every other year.
-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. All of these circumstances will require additional information and will be reviewed by our 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 committee and board of directors.
This application is for both new Certifications and Re-certifications.
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