Employer Living Wage Certification

What is a living wage?

Currently, as of June 26, 2015, in Tompkins County the living wage is $14.34/hour for a single person. This is based upon the following from Alternatives Federal Credit Union’s biannual study. Read more about the latest study.

  • Rent………………………$943/month
  • Transportation……….$191.95/month
  • Food……………………..$225.65/month
  • Healthcare…………….$281.81/month
  • Savings………………….$ 65.83/month
  • Recreation……………..$110.06/month
  • Communication……..$ 68.74/month
  • Miscellaneous and Taxes………..$476.66/month


$29,822.42/year or $14.34/hour (based on 2,080/hours a year)

IMPORTANT NOTE TO PRESENTLY-CERTIFIED LIVING WAGE EMPLOYERS: We allow one year to catch up with the new Living Wage figures, that is, you must update your wages by 6/26/16. Read more about the latest study.

Are you a Certified Living Wage Employer?

By providing every employee a living wage, you show your integrity and leadership in the community. You create a positive image in the minds of current and potential customers. You strengthen relationships between staff members and management, and you raise employee morale and productivity and encourage employee loyalty.

But that’s not all. By paying your employees fairly, you take advantage of the service/profit cycle. When you invest in staff rewards, both tangible and intangible, their satisfaction comes out in the level of service they provide your customers. These happy customers will keep coming back, and they’ll spread the word about your superior products and services.

Our community will prosper and that benefits everyone!

The Tompkins County Workers’ Center, a not-for-profit organization, works with all segments of the community to reach the goal of providing a living wage for every working person in our county.

We initiated the Living Wage Employer Certification Program to publicly recognize and reward those who pay a living wage. Any employer in the private, public and non-profit sectors is eligible to apply. With your help, we can provide incentives for other employers in our community.

Upon certification as a fair wage employer, we will:

  • provide you with a “Living Wage Certified” emblem for display at your place of business
  • market your business to our 2,000+ members via our mailing list, a display sheet and personal contact
  • publicly encourage community members to patronize your business
  • list your business or non-profit in a special section of our web site
  • feature a different “Living Wage Certified” employer monthly on our web site
  • use other avenues such as periodic press conferences and the annual Labor Day picnic to let consumers and the public know which employers have received our fair wage certification

Get Certified!

Download a Living Wage Certification application form and the Living Wage Criteria we are using. If your business or non-profit satisfies the criteria, please fill out the form and send it back to us. If you do not currently satisfy the criteria but feel you do provide fair wages and livable jobs or would like to move in that direction, we would still encourage you to send in the form or call or e-mail us so we can talk more.

These documents are in MS Word Format.

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