Alexandria City Council Adopts Living Wage Ordinance
In 2016, the Alexandria City Council adopted a Living Wage ordinance that requires contractors, excluding construction, providing services on City-owned or City-controlled property to pay a minimum wage to their employees. For details, see a complete copy of the ordinance.
Listed below are questions and answers concerning the Living Wage provision:
Q: When did the Living Wage become effective?
A: The Living Wage became effective for City contracts July 1, 2016.
Q: What is the current Living Wage?
A: The City’s current Living Wage is $14.13 per hour. The Living Wage ordinance applies to all public contracts for the provision of services on property owned or controlled by the City of Alexandria subject to limited exceptions (City of Alexandria Code Sections 3-3-31.1 and 3-3-61.1).
Q: How was the $14.13 per hour rate calculated?
A: The Living Wage is a combination of two rates available from Federal government indices. The first is the average poverty threshold for a family of four, as published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in the Federal Register, divided by 2,080. The second is the average cost incurred by an employer with 500 or more workers, on behalf of each employee, for the provision of health insurance, as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Q: How often will the Living Wage change?
A: Annually, as of July 1, the Purchasing Agent shall announce the current Living Wage, as calculated from the two federal indices. This announcement will be made using the Purchasing Division Web Page.
Q: What contracts will be affected?
A: All service contracts performed on City-owned or City-controlled property, except construction, estimated to be greater than $50,000 in value, that will be formally solicited. Services to be covered include custodial, security, landscape maintenance, parking lot management, etc.
Q: How will the City be certain that contractors pay the Living Wage?
A: All contractors awarded a contract requiring the Living Wage will be required to provide quarterly and annual reports of wages paid to personnel working on City property. The City shall audit and inspect reports and payroll records, as necessary.
Q: How will employees know about the Living Wage?
A: Contractors will be required to post notices in English and Spanish in a format to be provided by the Purchasing Agent. These notices will be posted at work sites and at the contractors' places of business.
Q: What if an employee believes the contractor is not paying the Living Wage?
A: The employee may notify the Purchasing Agent, who shall investigate and who may order the contractor to pay the proper wage plus interest in the event the contractor has not been complying with the ordinance. Contractors may not retaliate against employees who complain about failure to pay the proper wage rate.
Q: If a contractor fails to pay the wage after notice from the Purchasing Agent, what will occur?
A: The Purchasing Agent has the authority to terminate the contract and debar the contractor from doing business with the City.
Q: If I have other questions, how may I get them answered?
A: Contact the Purchasing Division in person or by phone, mail or email at: