DeKalb Medical Center adopts ‘living wage’ for employees

DeKalb Medical Center’s board has voted unanimously to adopt a “minimum living wage” policy, guaranteeing all employees at least $12 per hour.

The change affects more than 200 employees throughout the health system, which has hospitals in the Decatur and Lithonia areas, according to a news release. 
According to MIT, a livable wage in DeKalb and surrounding counties for a single adult is $12. It nearly doubles if you have a child.

“Our employees spend their days caring for others and doing very important (work),” said CEO and Vice Chair of the Board Bob Wilson. “It stands to reason that we should respect each position and every employee enough to pay at least a livable wage.”

Wilson said paying a living wage for positions in departments such as environmental and nutrition services is a good business decision because it ensures employees are happy to work there.

The health system’s livable wage policy takes effect with the system’s Aug. 13 pay period.

The move comes on the heels of tough times. The system last year laid off 60 workers and did away with 80 vacant positions. Three top officials also left, including the former CEO.

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