2019-2020 Jackson County Living Wage Employer Certification Application
Thank you in advance for filling out the application. If you have any questions, please contact
This application is for both new Certifications and Re-certifications.
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 Down Home NC's Jackson County Living Wages Working Group and our wage rate formula at
Certification Program Details
As part of Certification, we ask each employer to post a “Living Wage Certification Information” poster provided by Just Economics (JE) and Down Home North Carolina (DHNC), 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 the program coordinator and board of directors of JE for initial assessment of living wage criteria, and to the members of DHNC's Jackson County Living Wages Working Group for final approval. No copies will be made or distributed.
If an employer is no longer able to pay a living wage, JE & DHNC ask to be notified. In order to ensure accurate information from employers, the members of DHNC's Living Wage Working Group reserve the right to randomly review a small number of employers each quarter 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, JE & DHNC 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, JE & DHNC will remove them from our list in a non-public manner.
JE & DHNC 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 & DHNC during an active and known organizing campaign or collective bargaining labor dispute will be held by JE & DHNC until the organizing campaign, negotiations, or collective bargaining disputes are resolved.
2019-2020 Program Criteria:
- The living wage rate for Jackson County in 2019 is $12.60 hour.
- An employer may pay less than a living wage only under special circumstances that will require additional information and will be reviewed by the board of directors of JE as well as the Living Wage Working Group of DHNC; these exemptions may be based on internship qualification, youth employees, seasonal employees, and family employees.
- The tips and wages of service workers should consistently add up to a living wage in order to meet the criteria. If the tips of service workers do not average to a living wage, then a living wage employer guarantees to subsidize the tips up to a living wage.
- An employer may offset the wage rate by no more than $1.50 by providing benefits that affect basic needs and decrease the cost of living, such as healthcare, housing, food, or transportation. Any offset will require additional information and will be reviewed by JE & DHNC.
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