Living Wage Qualification Criteria

In order to become Living Wage Certified, an employer must pay both full-time and part-time employees the current living wage rate for their county. Additionally, employers utilizing Independent Contractors must pay an additional $2/hour to cover tax and benefit costs incurred by the contractor.

  • Employers may offset the living wage rate based on health insurance, meals, transportation, and/or housing benefits provided to employees.
  • Employers may pay less than a living wage to apprentices, interns, minors who are working part-time, temporary or projected-based employees, and new hires in a probationary period not exceeding 90 days.
  • Employers in industries where tips are regularly received as part of the employee’s overall compensation are eligible to offset the living wage as long as the base pay plus average tips meets the living wage rate.

Annual membership dues vary based on organization size.

Number of Employees or Budget 1-4 5-10 11-20 21-50 51+ Non-profit <$200K Non-profit >$200K Government Agency <$2.5 mil. Government Agency >$2.5 mil.
Fee $50 $75 $125 $250 $350 $50 $75 $100 $200


This application is considered confidential and privileged information, it will only be shown to Raise Arizona Staff and our certification committee members.

If an employer is no longer able to pay a living wage, Raise Arizona asks to be notified.  In order to ensure accurate information from employers, Raise Arizona reserves 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 concerned is raised, Raise Arizona will follow a set review protocol to receive more information.  If an employer is found to not be paying a living wage and is unable to adjust their wages, Raise Arizona will discreetly revoke their certification status.


  1. Living Wage Certified Employer: An employer who is accepted into our program and meets or exceeds the Living Wage Certification criteria.
  2. Apprentice: An individual who is learning a trade, art, or skill by practical experience under skilled workers in exchange for work.
  3. Intern:  A student or graduate in a professional field gaining practical experience in exchange for work.
  4. Minor: An individual under the age of 18.
  5. Temporary or Project-based employee:  An “as needed” employee who works intermittently and does not work over 45 days in a calendar year.
  6. New hire in a probationary period not exceeding 90 days:  An employee who is within their first 90 days of employment during which the employee and employer are evaluating each other.
  7. Employee receiving tips as a significant part of their income: An employee whose compensation is structured on regularly receiving tips or gratuities.  The employer must be able to establish that for each week, when adding tips received to wages paid, the employee receives a Living Wage.
  8. Independent Contractor: An individual paid on a freelance basis who receives a 1099 for services rendered.

Please complete the following application to become a Living Wage Certified Employer.

Apply Today