Economic Justice

Fair wages, full benefits, and worker protections for all Vermonters

When Vermont’s families thrive, Vermont’s communities thrive. To thrive, all workers need dignified wages, good benefits, and strong legal protections. Right now, this is still not the case for many Vermonters – and women, immigrants, and BIPOC residents are particularly impacted. 

In 2016, Rights & Democracy was part of the coalition that won paid sick days, and in 2020, with Raise Up Vermont, we won legislation that increased the minimum wage to $12.55 an hour. But as the COVID pandemic has laid bare the challenges Vermont’s working families face, and the cost of living has spiraled upward, this is not nearly enough. 

We’re fighting for comprehensive paid family and medical leave; a dignified minimum wage for all Vermont workers; and stronger laws to ensure all working people have the protections they deserve. Together, we can build a Vermont where we are all able to lead healthy, fulfilling lives.


One Fair Wage

Currently, Vermont’s tipped workers receive 50% of the minimum wage – $6.28 an hour. Although we have a wage credit provision requiring employers to top tipped workers up to minimum wage, this system still doesn’t allow for stable income and true wage parity.

A direct legacy of slavery, the subminimum wage affects nearly 26,000 tipped workers, and more than 70 percent of these are women. Ending this low-wage carve-out positively impacts an overall restaurant workforce of 18,000 Vermont workers. Join us in the fight to win one fair, livable minimum wage for all Vermont workers – a minimum wage that leaves no one out!