March 1. Novant Health is implementing a minimum wage based on local costs of living over and above the state-mandated minimum wage, commonly referred to as a living wage. It means that the floor for hourly workers in North Carolina will be set at $11 an hour.
The official national minimum wage is $7.25 an hour; some city governments in high-cost markets are adopting minimums that are much higher, ranging from $10 an hour to $15 an hour in Seattle, Wash. Employers, of course, are competing for workers in a tighter and tighter labor market.
“Novant Health is dedicated to caring for our communities, starting with our own team members,” said CEO Carl Armato. “We want to remove barriers for our team members so they can focus on what they love, both inside and outside of work.” Prior to this, Novant’s minimum wage matched the national minimum at $7.25 per hour.
In Northern Virginia, which is part of the costly Washington, DC market, the minimum wage will be $14 per hour.
“Implementing a living wage across our organization represents about a $1.2 million investment in our team members,” said Janet Smith-Hill, executive vice president and chief human resources officer. “We are committed to attracting and retaining highly qualified team members, and offering a living wage is another way to live up to that commitment.”
This change benefits about 2,000 employees in North Carolina and 350 in Virginia.