Living Wage Employer Certification Program Unveiled in Tompkins County

The Living Wage Coalition is now taking applications from businesses, non-profit agencies and local governments for certification as living wage employers. Below are the criteria we are using (please contact our office at 269-0409 to apply for certification or to ask questions).

We believe that paying a living wage is fundamentally the right thing to do (“a living wage is a moral value”). We are also aware that many employers, face pressures that can make it difficult to pay everyone a living wage. We are seeking to publicly recognize and reward employers that do provide livable jobs with fair wages, and to provide assistance and incentives for others that would like to do so.

Fair Wage Certification Criteria

1. Must pay $9.18/hour to all regular full and part-time employees.

2. Must offer health insurance to all employees averaging 30 or more hours/week (or pay them a minimum of $10.36/hour).

3. May pay a wage that is less than the living wage to youth employed during the summer; to part-time employees who are under 18 years old; to employees who are in a probationary status (limited to 3 months); to employees who are hired on a temporary basis (limited to 3 months); to employees and volunteers paid by others.

4. Must endorse the living wage concept.

5. Must match wages with any changes in the Tompkins County Living Wage that might occur periodically.

6. May use benefits or other beneficial terms and conditions of employment that are provided employees, such as union status, pension, discounts, generous leave policies etc., as an offset to the wage and health insurance criteria (meaning, for example, that a lower wage than $9.18 may be allowed if the difference were made up in measurable benefits that reduce the cost of living or offset by other by other factors in the employment situation), at the discretion of the TCLWC Steering Committee.

7. May be rejected for certification where there are known health and safety violations, violations of wage/hour or other labor statutes, and/or violations of the right to unionize, at the discretion of the TCLWC Steering Committee.

Certification is subject to annual review by TCLWC.