2019 Living Wage Employer Certification Application
Thank you in advance for filling out the application. If you have any questions/concerns, please contact Carmen Ramos-Kennedy, Living Wage Program Coordinator, at 828-505-7466 or carmen@justeconomicswnc.org.
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 www.justeconomicswnc.org.
Certification Program Details:
Certification Program Details:
This application for living wage certification is considered confidential and privileged information. It will only be shown to our executive director, program coordinator, board of directors, and our certification committee members (if necessary). No copies will be made, or distributed. If an employer is no longer able to pay a living wage, Just Economics should be notified.
We value transparency. In order to ensure the accuracy of our program, we reserve the right to randomly review certified employers quarterly for compliance to our Living Wage Rate.

The protocol in this review may include one or both of the following:
1. Interview with a percentage of employees regarding verification
2. Access to a sequential three-month period of redacted payrolls to determine compliance
In the case of a review of redacted payrolls, a 30-day notice will be given the employer. If an employer is found not to be paying a living wage and is unable to adjust their wages, Just Economics will remove the business from our Business Directory in a non-public manner.

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. It is important that the employer understand that employees may have questions or concerns about the employer’s application to become Living Wage Certified. All employers submitting an application for the first time or recertifying must agree not to take retaliatory action against an employee raising concerns. Should a concern be raised, Just Economics will follow the first step of the protocol. The second step of the protocol will follow should further review be necessary.

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 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.

This application is for both new Certifications and Re-certifications.
2019 Program Criteria:
- Our 2019 wage rate is $13.65/hour for employees without employer provided health insurance or $12.15/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.

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 employer. This non-refundable fee applies for Certification for two years or Re-certification two years. You will be prompted to pay your 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

Any questions regarding this fee or the process, should be directed to Carmen Ramos-Kennedy, Living Wage Program Coordinator, at 828-505-7466 or carmen@justeconomicswnc.org.

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