Fill out our form below or download Richmond Living Wage Certification Application.

Richmond Area Living Wage Certification Application

Richmond Area Living Wage Certification Application
  • The Richmond Area Living Wage Certification Program is a joint program of the Richmond Chapter of the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy and the City of Richmond Office of Community Wealth Building.
  • Section 1: Basic Employer Information and Program Information

  • Business e-mail: Primary Contact e-mail:

  • 2017-18 Program Criteria and Information:

    Wages: Our 2017-18 program has three levels of certifications:
    Certified - Gold: $16.00 or more
    Certified - Silver: $12.50 or more
    Certified - Aspiring: $11.00 or more

    The Richmond Living Wage Certification Program established these categories after reviewing the Richmond rates using the Universal Living Wage calculation, the MIT Living Wage Calculator, the EPI Family Budget and area data. The Aspiring Living Wage Certification is designed to encourage employers to commit toward raising wages over a two-year period.

    Health Insurance: We recognize that employers that provide health insurance to the employees have additional costs. Employers that provide health insurance for their employees or reimburse employees for their cost of health insurance can deduct $1.50 per hour from the above rates and still be certified, so $14.50 plus health insurance still qualifies for the Gold Star Living Wage Certification, $11.00 plus health insurance still qualifies for the Silver Star Living Wage Certification and $9 .50 plus health insurance still qualifies for the Aspiring Living Wage Certification.

    Special Short-term Workers: 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. Employers with workers in these circumstances may be asked for additional information that will be reviewed by the program’s Certification Committee.

    Tipped Workers: Tipped workers should on average earn the living wage standard with the tipped minimum wage and their tips combined.

    Other Offsets: 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.

    Confidentiality: This application is considered confidential and privileged information. It will only be shown to our program coordinator and our certification committee members.

    Changes in situations: If an employer is no longer able to pay a living wage, the Richmond Area 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, it is important that the employer understand that the employees may have questions or concerns about the program, and it is important that an employer agree not to take retaliatory action against an employee raising concerns. If a concern is raised, the Richmond Area Living Wage Certification will follow a set of protocol in receiving more information. If an employer is found not to be paying a living wage and is unable to adjust their wages, The Richmond Area Living Wage Certification will remove the business from our list in a non-public manner.

  • Section 2: Certification Eligibility

  • 2. What number of the employees listed above are:

  • 3. Hourly pay for your employees. Please check the lowest rate paid to your employees, excluding only those eligible to be exempted (2A, 2B, 2C): (check one)
  • If yes, you qualify for the Gold Living Wage Certification!

  • If yes, you qualify for the Silver Living Wage Certification!

  • If yes, you qualify for the Aspiring Living Wage Certification!

  • 4. Health, Dental, Vision Coverage:

  • 5. Other Potential Qualifying Benefits:

  • If you answer yes to any of these qualifying benefits, someone from the certifying committee will follow up with you to determine the value of the additional qualifying benefits.

  • 6. Independent Contractors:

  • 7. Qualifying for Living Wage Certification:

  • 8. Confirmation:

  • Section 3: Optional Certification Program Benefits (does not affect program eligibility)

Section 4: Definitions

Living Wage: the amount that a single individual must earn hourly to afford their basic necessities, without public or private assistance. For further information on the wage rate visit:

Living Wage Certified Employer: an employer that is accepted in our program and meets or exceeds the Richmond Area Living Wage Certification program criteria.

Apprentice: an individual that is learning a trade, art, or skill by practical experience under skilled workers in exchange for work.

Intern: a student or graduate in a professional field gaining supervised practical experience in exchange for work.

Minor: An individual under the age of 18.

Temporary/Project based Employee: An “as needed” employee that works intermittently and does not work more than 45 days in a calendar year.

Independent Contractor: a contractor that is in business for him/herself. The person is not under the direct control of your business. Independent contractors must receive a “1099”. Independent Contractors paid an hourly rate and consistently working over 8 hours a week must make $2/hour more than the current living wage to qualify for certification. The additional wage requirements are meant to cover their individual tax

New Hire: an employee who is within their first 90 days of employment during which the employee and employer are evaluating each other.

Tipped Employee: an employee who consistently relies on tips for a percentage of their income. When averaged out, wage and tips combined must meet the same wage rates described above. The Richmond Area Living Wage Certification program will interview a percentage of tipped employees from any employer that applies for Living Wage Certification using tips to qualify order to ensure that the wage requirements are met.


Please return the completed application along with a high resolution logo to:

Richmond Living Wage Certification Program
c/o Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy
1716 E. Franklin Street
Richmond, Virginia 23223

By providing a logo, your firm is authorizing its use to promote the Certification Program.  Feel free to include any comments, concerns, or suggestions with your application.  If you know of other businesses that would benefit form our program, please refer them to Ron Alpern,