Just Employment Policy

The model policy and policy guide offer a vision for how our institutions can realize those values.

Read more


The Just Employment Policy is supported by students, workers, faculty, and administrators from colleges and universities across the country who believe our campus employment practices should reflect our values.


The model policy and policy guide offer a vision for how our institutions can realize our values and the importance of living wages and the right of workers to a dignified workplace.


Colleges and universities have the potential to act as model employers, recognizing the rights of their workers and committing to pay them living wages. Learn about what’s happening on campuses like yours.

Join Us

Show your support for the Just Employment Policy by connecting with us and learning about how you can get involved to advance worker justice on your campus and in your community.

The Latest

If We Are Who We Say We Are: Justice for Faculty at Loyola University of Chicago

For centuries, the Church has offered a strong and principled vision on the dignity of work and justice for working people. Pope Leo XIII first recognized the right of workers to a living wage, decent working conditions, and the freedom to organize in an 1891 encyclical titled Rerum Novarum. In Laborem Excercens, Pope John Paul II reiterated the importance of organized labor, describing unions as “an indispensable element of social life” (no. 20). As recently as 2009, Pope Benedict XVI echoed his predecessors in calling for an even greater emphasis on the promotion of workers’ associations in Caritas in Veritate (no. 25). Drawing from the Church’s social doctrine, in which the freedom of association is enshrined, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops stated: “No one may deny the right to organize without attacking human dignity itself” (Economic Justice for All, no. 104). When Pope Francis visited Bolivia this past July, he concluded his remarks by reminding the crowd that the very future of humanity “is fundamentally in the hands of peoples and in their ability to organize.” Although the Church has played an important role in the struggle for worker justice, putting these teachings into practice at Catholic institutions often causes tension. Recently, the Loyola University of Chicago decided to oppose an organizing drive among its contingent faculty. Soon after non-tenure-track professors (both adjuncts and full-time) filed for a union election, the University hired an outside firm to curtail the drive and launched a web page with misleading claims about union representation. The most troubling aspect of the University’s response has been its legal position on the matter. University... read more

Just Employment at the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice

This past weekend, a record crowd of over 1,700 attended the Ignatian Family Teach-in for Justice (IFTJ) in Washington, DC. The Teach-in is an annual gathering for the Ignatian family to come together in the context of social justice and solidarity. Although members from many Catholic institutions attend IFTJ, it is students from Jesuit high schools and universities who comprise the heart of the gathering. This year, the Just Employment team was proud to be part of the Teach-in and meet lots of the students whose commitment to justice breathes hope into the Church and our communities. As part of our contribution to the Teach-in, we made a short presentation on the Just Employment Policy that you can watch below. We also held a more in-depth breakout session where students from Jesuit colleges and universities learned more about the JJEP model, discussed labor practices on their own campuses, and strategized about how to best support the workers who keep our universities running smoothly. Thank you to all of the students, staff, and faculty who came out to the training. Stay in touch with us at justemploymentpolicy@gmail.com or by following us on Facebook and Twitter. “In the same way that our Jesuit high schools, colleges, and universities teach us to think critically about the world and dare us to be men and women for others, it is our duty to reflect on the structure of our own institutions and challenge them to fulfill their commitment to justice and the common good.   The Church has spoken with great clarity about the importance of a living wage, worker rights, and dignity in the workplace. Yet our Catholic universities... read more

Just Employment Policy Showcased at the White House

The Just Employment Policy was highlighted in the East Wing of the White House during the Summit on Worker Voice. The Summit brought together workers, labor leaders, advocates, forward-leaning employers, and the President to address the most important issues facing working-class people. One of its panel discussions focused on the way worker voices are amplified when labor and community come together. US Deputy Secretary of Labor Chris Lu moderated the panel, which featured the Director of Georgetown University’s Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor, Joseph McCartin. Prof. McCartin was invited in part due to his work promoting Just Employment practices in higher education. Alongside passionate labor and community organizers, Prof. McCartin explained how Georgetown’s Just Employment Policy ensures that all campus workers receive a living wage and are treated with dignity in accordance with Catholic Social Teaching. The Policy empowered campus dining service workers and adjunct faculty to improve their working conditions by organizing in a manner that served the University’s overall mission. “Georgetown’s Just Employment Policy upholds values of solidarity, community, and worker voice.” The discussion also touched on efforts to export the Just Employment model, which was developed based on Georgetown’s policy, to other colleges and universities. Over the past two years, students at John Carroll, Brandeis, and Loyola Chicago have led inspiring efforts to bring Just Employment principles to their own campuses. The broader theme of ‘good employers’ with high labor standards came up several times throughout the Summit. President Obama specifically emphasized the need for consumers to pressure businesses to pay fair wages and respect the rights of their workers. “Part of our goal has... read more

Beyond a Living Wage: The University of California Embraces Just Employment Policy Principles

When University of California President Janet Napolitano announced a “Fair Wage/Fair Work” plan for campus workers, the increased minimum wage of $15 an hour understandably received nearly all of the press coverage. Yet upon closer inspection, the new policy includes several other protections for direct and indirect university employees. These protections happen to be important components of the Just Employment Policy, and their adoption brings the University of California in alignment with the JEP model. A key aspect of the new policy is that it extends to both university staff and subcontracted employees. It may seem intuitive to establish the same standards for all workers, yet most institutions that voluntarily raise their minimum wage only do so for direct university employees. The exclusion of contract workers is highly problematic. Not only does it incentivize outsourcing services to firms with low-pay and anti-union business models, but it also leaves out many workers that comprise an integral part of the university community. Food service, security, and janitorial staff are typically subcontracted employees that spend all of their work hours on campus; they deserve the living wage and benefits that their colleagues receive. That equality now exists at the UC system. The University of California also adopted several JEP-endorsed protections for workers to ensure that the policy is being enforced throughout its campuses. These measures include both annual and periodic audits of contractors to ensure that they are complying with UC’s minimum wage of $15 an hour, as well as all federal and state laws regarding overtime and compensation. In addition, the new policy establishes a dedicated, toll-free number (855-WAGES-UC) and an... read more

Latest Tweets

Get Involved

Are you interested in the Just Employment Policy and how you can advance worker justice on your campus? We want to hear from you!

Join Us