Rules and Benefits

Employers certified in 2017 must pay at least $13.15/hour to all regular full and part time employees.  For employers providing health insurance the threshold is $11.65/hour.

Employers certified in 2015 and 2016 must pay at least $12.75/hour to all regular full and part-time employees.  For employers providing health insurance the threshold is $11.25/hour.

All tipped, commissioned, and variable pay rate employees must be paid at least the living wage rate. Employers and employees are interviewed to verify the pay is consistently earned to ensure that the requirements are met.

Interns, apprentices, temporary and project-based employees, minors working part time, probationary employees, and independent contractors paid via a 1099 are not included.

Living Wage Certified Employers need to certify eligibility every two years in order to remain on our list of Certified Living Wage Employers. The hourly rate in place for the year certified applies for their employees for two years. Example: if certified May 1, 2016, the certification period is May 1, 2016 thru May 1, 2018 and employers must pay at least the 2016 rate for that period. Recertification is required on or before May 1, 2018 and will be at the 2018 hourly rate.

Orange County Living Wage has a form available on our website for any employee of certified employers who wish to report a concern. The form can be completed online and can be submitted anonymously. Go to www.orangecountylivingwage.org and click on FOR EMPLOYEES.

Certified businesses and organizations are publicized in print and social media, on the Orange County Living Wage web site, and in other ways.  

Certified businesses and organizations receive a decal to post at their office or store, poster, car magnets, and a certificate suitable for framing. They may use the logo and cite their certification in their marketing materials.