Living Wage DC

A living wage refers to a theoretical income level that allows an individual or family to afford adequate shelter, food, and the other basic necessities. The goal of a living wage is to allow employees to earn enough income for a satisfactory standard of living and to prevent them from falling into poverty

In 2020, the Department of Health and Human Services set the federal poverty level at $26,200 for a family of four. 5 That's equivalent to about $12.60 per hour for a full-time worker. A living wage must at least be greater than the poverty level.

The living wage is the amount of income determined to provide a decent standard of living. It should pay for the cost of living in any location. It should also be adjusted to compensate for inflation. The purpose of a living wage is to make sure that all full-time workers have enough money to live above the federal poverty level.

The minimum wage is the wage mandated by law, to keep employees above the poverty level in their area. However, the minimum wage is simply not enough to provide one with the means to live. It also is not enough to cover medical, auto, or renters and homeowner's insurance.

Paying a living wage creates an economy that works for everyone. Paying a living wage leads to increased worker morale, worker health, and improved quality of service. It also lowers turnover rates, saving money for employers. Economic research shows that higher wages aid in job creation and helps small business.

Living Wage Calculation

In 2020, the Department of Health and Human Services set the federal poverty level at $26,200 for a family of four.* That's equivalent to about $12.60 per hour for a full-time worker. A living wage must at least be greater than the poverty level.

Living Wage profile photo of The VIllage Cafe

Living wage for an
individual in DC is

The living wage is the amount of income determined to provide a decent standard of living. It should pay for the cost of living in any location. It should also be adjusted to compensate for inflation. The purpose of a living wage is to make sure that all full-time workers have enough money to live above the federal poverty level.

The minimum wage is the wage mandated by law, to keep employees above the poverty level in their area. However, the minimum wage is simply not enough to provide one with the means to live. It also is not enough to cover medical, auto, or renters and homeowner's insurance.

Paying a living wage creates an economy that works for everyone. Paying a living wage leads to increased worker morale, worker health, and improved quality of service. It also lowers turnover rates, saving money for employers. Economic research shows that higher wages aid in job creation and helps small business.

DC Minimum Wage

Beginning July 1, 2020, the minimum wage in the District of Columbia will increase from $14.00 per hour to $15.00 per hour for all workers, regardless of the size of the employer.

DC, WE NEED YOUR HELP! ADD YOUR VOICE TODAY

The Department of Small and Local Business Development awarded a grant to Think Local First DC to establish a Living Wage Certification Program within the Department. The Living Wage Certification Program will certify employers that meet the requirements of the program established below. We are conducting quantitative research and we need your help as local independent businesses in the District by completing this 2-minute survey.

We invite you to visit the links below for more information:

Employers that pay a living wage report better morale, attendance, productivity, customer relations, and lower turnover. Support worker livelihoods by urging employers to pay living wages, certifying and publicly recognizing employers, and promoting living wages as a matter of conscience within our community.  Through voluntary certification, we aim to identify, acknowledge, and celebrate businesses and non-profits that pay a living wage.

Employers that pay a living wage report better morale, attendance, productivity, customer relations, and lower turnover. Support worker livelihoods by urging employers to pay living wages, certifying and publicly recognizing employers, and promoting living wages as a matter of conscience within our community.  Through voluntary certification, we aim to identify, acknowledge, and celebrate businesses and non-profits that pay a living wage.

Living Wage Certification

All workers should have secure housing, adequate food, clothing, medical care and education for themselves and their families. Think Local First DC wants to co-create a community in which workers are paid at least a “living wage. Think Local First is in the process of designing a Living Wage Certification Program for small and local businesses in the District. Living-wage-certified employers will be a diverse mix of for-profit and nonprofit businesses and public employers who pay over 7000 workers a living wage. Businesses will become part of a growing living wage movement; a community in which workers are paid at least a living wage. Through voluntary certification, we aim to identify, acknowledge, and celebrate businesses and non-profits that pay a living wage. LWC Businesses are: Employers that pay a living wage report better morale, attendance, productivity, customer relations, and lower turnover. Support worker livelihoods by urging employers to pay living wages, certifying and publicly recognizing employers, and promoting living wages as a matter of conscience within our community.

Living Wage Committee

The Living Wage Committee (LWC) is made up of business owners, government officials, non-profit leaders and academics.  Their role is to help create the Living Wage Certification program's structure and goals, help to develop the content for the roundtables and review applications and monitor compliance. The Living Wage Committee should meet regularly, and the meetings should be open to the public.