The company says the hourly increase will affect approximately 44% its more than 300 employees across five facilities throughout the US.
The increase to a “livable wage” standard from $15 an hour to $17 an hour is part of the company’s belief in creating a truly sustainable work place that ensures every employee is incentivized to work according to the corporate principles of fairness and responsibility first established by its founder, Van Vlahakis, in 1967.
"As the daughter of an immigrant father, I believe in establishing a livable hourly wage, rather than a minimum hourly wage for our employees. The memory of those early days in poverty, including a few stays in homeless shelters, always resonated with my father Van Vlahakis, the founder of Earth Friendly Products, and led him to make this change across all of our employees’ wages. We consider our employees to be very much a part of the company's success since we opened our first facility in 1967,” said Kelly Vlahakis-Hanks, executive vice president of Earth Friendly Products. She adds, “To our knowledge, this new $17/hour minimum wage is the highest of any national company in America. To us, it is just smart business, proving that a company can be good stewards of the environment, treat its employees with dignity and be strong, stable and profitable.”