For Employees

Are you an employee of a certified business or non-profit?

Do you have concerns about your employer meeting certification eligibility?

Contact us.

Our living wage rate is tied to the livable wage rate of Durham County and the City of Durham, which is updated annually. Our 2021-2022 wage rate is $16.25/hour for individuals without employer-provided health insurance or $14.75/hour for employees with employer-provided health insurance, or employees reimbursed for at least 50% of their cost of health insurance.

For tipped employees, when averaged out, wages plus tips must equal at least $16.25/$14.75.

We also recommend that independent contractors, who are self-employed and receive a “1099,” be paid at least $2/hour more than the current living wage rate, or at least $18.25

Although we believe all employees should be paid a living wage, an employer may pay less than a living wage to apprentices, temporary or project-based employees, and interns. An employer may also pay less than a living wage to a new hire in a probationary period not to exceed 90 days. All of these circumstances will require additional information and will be reviewed by our certification committee.

While we aspire to expand this project to other communities, we are currently limiting living wage certification to Durham-based employers or businesses with a location within Durham County. Certification criteria apply to all Durham-based employees.

Know Your Rights 

At the Durham Living Wage Project, we are committed to supporting workers rights. Please follow the link below to the NC Justice Center's Worker's Rights Project for fact sheets containing information on wrongful termination, family and medical leave, health and safety, and many more workers issues. 

North Carolina Justice Center Worker's Rights Project


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