Our program has two levels:
Tier 1- Congregations in this tier are on their journey toward ensuring a living wage for all employees by paying the entry wage listed for their area, as well as committing to efforts that will help employees reach a full living wage. In 2023, this tier ranges from $15-$18 per hour adjusted based on cost of living differences.
Tier 2- Congregations in this tier ensure that employees earn a true living wage based on base pay alone. In 2023, this tier ranges from $17.50-$24 per hour adjusted based on cost of living differences.
Please review the following definitions before completing the application.
The amount that a single individual must earn hourly to afford their basic necessities, without public or private assistance.
An employer that is accepted into our program and meets or exceeds the Virginia Statewide Living Wage Certification program criteria.
An individual that is learning a trade, art, or skill by practical experience under skilled workers.
A student or graduate in a degree program gaining supervised practical experience.
An individual under the age of 18.
An “as needed” employee that works intermittently and does not work more than 45 days in a calendar year.
A contractor that is in business for him/her/themselves. The person is not under the direct control of your business. Independent contractors receive a “1099”.
An employee who is within their first 90 days of employment.
An employee who consistently relies on tips for a percentage of their income. When averaged out, wages and tips combined must meet the same wage rates described above.
An employer may pay less than a living wage to apprentices, temporary or project-based employees, minors working part-time, interns, and new hires in probationary periods not to exceed 90 days. Employers with workers in these circumstances may be asked for additional information that will be reviewed by the program’s Certification Committee.
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.
This application is considered confidential and privileged information. It will only be shown to our Program Coordinator and our Certification Committee members.
If an employer is no longer able to pay a living wage, the Virginia Statewide Living Wage Certification Program asks to be notified. 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, the employer must understand that employees may have questions or concerns about the program, and the employer agrees not to take retaliatory action against an employee raising concerns. If a concern is raised, the Virginia Statewide Living Wage Certification Program will follow up to investigate the concern. If an employer is found not to be paying a living wage and is unable to adjust their wages, The Virginia Statewide Living Wage Certification Program will remove the business from our list in a non-public manner.