Employee Compensation

For details about this credit, including the criteria, reporting timeframe, applicability, scoring, and more, please review the full credit language.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can we determine our local living wage?

This credit is based on a living wage for a family of four (two adults and two children). This family size was selected to help harmonize the many different standards and poverty indicators used in different countries.

Which hourly wage figure should be used from the MIT living wage calculator?

If using the MIT living wage calculator ensure that you use the Living Wage for 2 Adults 2 Children. Note: Anything below $12 should be double-checked.

Can benefits be included in Part 3 for total compensation?

Yes, the descriptive response for Part 3 should support that the assessment is based on TOTAL compensation of the institution’s lowest paid regular (i.e., permanent) employee (including benefits). Total compensation may include in-kind benefits that address basic needs (e.g., food, housing, transportation, healthcare, retirement) and are funded by the institution. If the lowest paid employee does not receive benefits, then benefits must be excluded from the total. Institutions must include regular part-time and full-time workers in Part 3.

Templates & Tools

Example Responses

  • Agnes Scott College – Reported living wage for a family of four aligns with MIT living wage calculator. Responses highlight recent increase in living wage target.
  • University of California, San Diego – Reported living wage for a family of four aligns with MIT living wage calculator. Response highlights a University of California systemwide “Fair Wage/Fair Work Plan”, guaranteeing that by October 2017, UC employees hired to work at least 20 hours a week be paid at least $15 per hour. Good reporting example for other UC system institutions.

Common Issues Identified During Review

  • Numeric Outlier: Part 1 – Low amount under “The local living wage” may indicate that a standard other than (2 Adults 2 Children) was incorrectly applied. Low responses should be double-checked. http://livingwage.mit.edu/
  • Part 2 – If Yes, percentage must be entered under “Percentage of employees of contractors that work on-site…”
  • Part 3 – Descriptive response should support that the assessment is based on TOTAL compensation (including benefits) of the institution’s lowest paid regular (i.e., permanent) employee. If the lowest paid employee does not receive benefits, then benefits must be excluded from the total. Institutions must not omit regular part-time workers.

Additional Resources

  • How can we improve our performance on this credit?
    • Resources related to employee compensation, wellbeing, and work in AASHE’s Campus Sustainability Hub

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