Frequently Asked Questions about Thayer Certified

What is a living wage?

A living wage is the minimum income necessary for a worker to meet their basic needs in a given geographic region. In the United States we utilize this definition and calculations. Internationally we make our own calculations based on a similar methodology.

How is a living wage different from minimum wage?

The minimum wage is based on the law of a geographic region. The living wage is calculated based on the cost of living in a certain geographic region.

How is Thayer Certified different from Fair Trade?

The main difference between Thayer Certified and Fair Trade is that we focus exclusively on the safety and fair treatment of workers, whereas Fair Trade involves other fairness criteria, such as trade imbalances, community development and environmental impact. Our narrow focus on workers allows us to keep our evaluation criteria and process simple, yet robust, across a broad range of industries, not just food and apparel.

How much does Thayer Certified cost?

The average cost of certification is $2500-$5000, but varies greatly depending on location and the number of facilities to be visited. 

How long does it take to get Thayer Certified?

Less than a week. Certification can be completed in less than a week, but on average the process takes one month due to scheduling.

How long is the certification period?

One year. After receiving a successful Thayer Certified report, a workplace is granted use of the Thayer Certified seal for one calendar year. After one year, the certification must be renewed or it expires and the logo must be removed from media and packaging.

What is the reporting burden on my employees?

Zero, we do all the work. We just need access to your facility for one day and access to each of your employees for 5-10 minutes each. No self-reporting.

Where can I find the Thayer Certified label?

Look for the Thayer Cerfified Safe & Fair logo on product packaging, beside the recycle and "Made in ____" labels, and on websites, beside Better Business Bureau and SSL security badges.

What are some common things you look for in a “safe workplace”?

Some of the main things we look for are fire safety measures and security – do you need a safety code to access the workplace? Are there working security cameras? We also make sure that heavy machinery are operated according to safety protocols and toxic chemicals are stored properly. See the "what page" for a more exhaustive list of our safety criteria.

What are some common things you look for in a “fair employer”?

Some of the main things we look for are that workers are at least 16 years of age, are not illegal immigrants, that they’re working of their own free will, have equal opportunities and are not subject to favoritism or discrimination. We also look into compensation to confirm that all workers are being paid a living wage, on a regular basis. In addition to monetary compensation, we confirm that benefits are being provided in line with company policy and local law. See the "What" page for a more exhaustive list of our fairness criteria.

Can one DISGRUNTLED employee ruin my chances of certification?

We anonymously interview employees, ask them about their compensation and encourage them to be honest. That means we expect to hear from some disgruntled employees. However, our SAFE & FAIR certification criteria and evaluation methods are clearly defined. If an employee is disgruntled because he or she is not being fairly compensated, by our definition, then you wouldn’t pass the certification audit. However, if the employee is disgruntled for reasons besides our safety and fairness criteria, we will take note in our certification report for management review but it will not affect the certification result.

What types of businesses are the best fit for a Thayer Certified?

See the "Who" page for an explanation of which types of businesses are the best fit for Thayer Certified and a select client list.

How do you guarantee businesses don't cheat on the audit?

Thayer Certified is not a guarantee. It is a verification of our criteria for certification in a given place on a given date. For more information on the audit process, see the How It Works page and sample certification report

Is Thayer Certified a non-profit organization?

No, we are a for-profit business. We believe that we provide a valuable service. We choose to measure the value of our service by the willingness of people and businesses to pay for it.

Is Thayer Certified a government or industry sponsored certification?

No, Thayer Certified is a private business. Our credibility derives exclusively from the value of our evaluation criteria and certification process to consumers and businesses. Although we examine and utilize both government regulations (minimum wage, building codes, social contribution mandates, etc.) and industry standards (ISO, OSHA, etc.) in our certification process, we are independent of the government and industry bodies.