*If you are an HDC member and would like to partake in a JUST evaluation, you can submit an application anytime in 2018 and receive a 50% discount on the program fee.
JUST is a voluntary disclosure tool for all businesses, including but not limited to for-profit businesses; nonprofits; government agencies; publicly and privately traded companies; trade unions; and family-owned businesses anywhere in the world. It is not a verification or certification program. The International Living Future Institute (ILFI) launched the JUST program to harness the power of transparency and gain traction in market forces to create social change. The goals of the JUST program are simple yet profound:
1. Elevate the discussion around social justice in all organizations
2. Create a common language for social justice issues
3. Elevate the causes of those individuals who lead these issues
4. Change the policies and practices of thousands of organizations worldwide
5. Make life better for people from all walks of life
In order to accomplish these goals, the Institute calls for all organizations to accept social responsibility and become truly transformative and transparent by publicly declaring and showcasing their social justice and equity policies and practices. JUST is, quite simply, a call to social justice action.
HDC is proud to have undergone the evaluation and recognize our successes, as well as our areas to improve upon.
Below is an abridged version of HDC policies as they relate to JUST measurements. A more complete version is also available for viewing.
Non-Discrimination: HDC is committed to ensuring a workplace that is free of discrimination. HDC’s policies and practices are consistent with all federal, state and municipal laws related to discrimination of employees, members, customers, vendors and suppliers.
Gender Diversity: HDC is committed to ensuring that women have the same opportunities for recruitment, hiring, training, promotion, and leadership positions as men. HDC’s gender diversity (and gender equality) efforts strive not only for relatively equal numbers of employees of both genders in the organization but, most importantly, to have equal numbers of women and men in senior leadership, executive, and board positions.
Ethnic Diversity: HDC strives to achieve ethnic and racial diversity and inclusiveness within our workforce. Our desire is for a workforce that is as ethnically and racially diverse as the community of King County in which we operate. HDC further aspires for the ethnic makeup of our board and staff to ultimately be reflective of the residents that our members serve.
Full-Time Employment: The practice of having a vast majority of full-time employees demonstrates HDC’s commitment to our employees and to the value they bring to the organization. Full-time employment of at least thirty hours with the appropriate pay and benefits, including medical benefits, is a necessity for individuals and families to have a measure of stability and predictability regarding their personal and financial well-being.
Pay-Scale Equity: The goal of a compensation equity policy is to address discrepancies in employee compensation that relate to the traditional over-valuation of work performed by senior executives and the under-valuation of work performed by employees in the lowest job classifications. An appropriate compensation scale ratio recognizes that there are real and merited differences in employee compensation scales within an organization’s equitable compensation program, but it puts a realistic and equitable maximum limit on the differences in this compensation.
Employee/Union Friendly: HDC proudly and actively supports the right of employees to self-organize and, if desired, join or form a union to represent the employees in collective bargaining. HDC does not, in any way, resist or campaign against unions or take action against employees for being involved in or belonging to a union or informal self-organization.
Living Wage: HDC is committed to providing a minimum of a Living Wage for all our employees. HDC utilizes the Poverty in America: Living Wage Calculator as the basic tool in determining the minimum living wage we seek to pay our employees. HDC has set the two adults (One Working) with locale considerations as its appointed configuration for determining the living wage that we pay our employees. Compared to a legislated minimum wage, a Living Wage is a higher standard for HDC to meet in reference to compensation for our employees.
Gender Pay Equity: HDC has achieved parity in our pay scales for male and female employees. HDC’s implementation ensures that gender pay scales are utilized that meet or exceed applicable legislated wage requirements and industry standards, and compensate, on the same basis, all individuals performing the same or similar work or work of equal value. There is a variance allowance that recognizes and accounts for differences in employee experience and length of service built into the pay scale that is not gender-based.
Family Friendly: Family-friendly policies and practices instituted by HDC for the benefit of our employees typically focus on the needs of our employees that are related to the issues of everyday family life such as childbirths, adoptions, maternity and paternity leaves, caring for a sick child, spouse, partner or an aging parent, medical appointments and school emergencies. These policies include opportunities for employees to opt for employee and family health benefits, employee assistance programs, flexible work arrangements, compressed work week, job sharing, working away from the worksite, telecommuting, access to child care, as well as parental leave, family medical leave and emergency leave.
Local Control: HDC endeavors to invest in and have a direct relationship with the community that we serve, and demonstrates the accountability that comes when senior leadership and stakeholders reside in the places we impact. Nearly 100% percent of HDC’s board and staff are residents of King County. HDC member business owners, nonprofit leaders and agency staff all predominantly live and work within King County where our efforts to develop, manage and expand affordable housing are located.
Local Sourcing: HDC is committed to and demonstrates support of local businesses and economies through local sourcing. HDC patronizes local businesses as an investment in our community, helping to ensure the health, vibrancy and sustainability of the economy and communities in King County.
Occupational Safety: HDC is committed to providing a safe and healthy work environment for all of our employees promotes safety and health management systems for the benefit of employees. HDC meets or exceeds all government rules and regulations regarding workplace health and safety and has a positive track record of safety. Policies and procedures for maintaining a safe work environment are posted in our office.
Hazardous Chemicals: HDC embraces responsibility for the management of hazardous materials and chemicals in the workplace to safeguard the health and safety of our employees and the public. HDC meets or exceeds all relevant government rules and regulations regarding hazardous materials and chemicals in the workplace, and has a positive track record of safety.
Responsible Investing: Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) requires organizations to study the social and environmental implications of the investments they are considering and then to make their investment decisions based on those findings. As part of our commitment to social responsibility, HDC invests our reserves in our local community, with community banks and credit unions, and seeks to model behavior and practices that demonstrate our organization as a worthy recipient for SRI and advocacy.
Community Volunteering: HDC-supported volunteering is primarily focused on services such as charitable, nonprofit, community, local, state, or federal government, and religious organizations that provide benefits to the wider community. HDC provides up to 2 unpaid days per year for staff to volunteer.
Stewardship Policy: HDC implements this policy through purchase of fair trade products and services that are environmentally-friendly, energy-conscious, people-friendly, animal-friendly, and socially-conscious. Conversely, and of equal importance, products and services that are considered to have significant negative societal and environmental outcomes are avoided. These negative products and services include, but are not limited to: armaments and firearms; tobacco; narcotics and other illicit drugs; gambling; pornography; prostitution; payday lending; organized crime; clear-cut logging; genetically-modified foods or patenting life; and non-nutritional (“junk”) foods and beverages. Moderate and managed alcohol use is occasionally allowed as part of some special events.
Charitable Giving: HDC is committed to and actively involved in charitable giving to worthy causes within our community. HDC offers our nonprofit members participation in workplace charitable giving through our Charity Federation. Passing through charitable donations leverages and demonstrates our support of the valuable work our members do in the community.
Animal Welfare: HDC supports animal welfare, meaning the ethical, merciful, non-abusive and non-harmful treatment of animals, and the prevention of any distress and pain so they enjoy a dignified and humane quality of life. HDC is not involved in the production, promotion or sale of goods and services that are antithetical to the well-being of animals.
Transparency: HDC seeks to provide ongoing open access and communication to internal and external audiences on important organizational information. This information includes the HDC’s mission, vision, values, strategic plan, governance structure, and our leadership and involvement in social, political and environmental causes. HDC complies with all legislated reporting requirements, and shares our IRS Federal Form 990 annual financial return.
Worker Happiness: HDC endeavors to create and maintain a work environment conducive to worker happiness, while promoting a work/life balance. HDC annually administers a survey for measuring employee happiness, with a goal of a minimum of 70 percent of full-time and part-time employees who have been with the organization for at least six months complete the survey. This survey method is based on the principle that satisfaction at work and willingness to recommend the organization as a good place to work both correlate highly with worker happiness.
Employee Health Care: HDC proudly provides and financially covers a comprehensive employee benefits plan that includes comprehensive health care insurance coverage (medical, dental, vision), short and long-term disability coverage, AD&D, and life insurance. HDC extends our pricing to employee family members seeking coverage. HDC meets or exceeds all government rules and regulations regarding the provision of health care insurance for employees and their families.
Continuing Education: At its discretion, HDC may provide some combination of financial and work-time support for continuing education programs. Continuing education includes all education and training activities that are relevant to an employee’s professional knowledge and skills and to the specific needs of their job. These various combinations include paying all or part of the associated costs (tuition, fees, books), either directly or through employee reimbursement schedules, as well as providing for paid work-time attendance. To these ends, HDC budgets, at least, an amount that is approximately ½ the cost for tuition & books at a local community college for one class per year per FTE.