In a job seekers’ market, with only 3.3 percent unemployment in Seattle, potential employees have leverage to insist on higher standards from their employers. Job seekers may want to join an “Emerald” employer in Seattle, who not only cares about profits, but also the health of employees and their communities.

Here are some questions to ask your interviewer as you consider joining a new employer:


Do you offer a public transport subsidy, like over 80 percent of big employers and over 50 percent of small ones located downtown?  

Is the building I’m going to work in clean, LEED certified with high marks, enjoying natural light, or in a corporate park that limits use of chemical sprays?  

Was my work space constructed with natural or recycled materials?  If you have no control over that, would you consider lobbying for it with any lease re-signing?  

Health & Fitness

Do you accept homeopathic solutions for insurance subsidies, and also job wellness support (including preventative programs with counseling for at-risk employees)?  Are you friendly toward a healthy family and women’s reproductive health? Toward family leave, family health insurance, family sick or care days, and do I get (restorative) vacation days?

Do you offer any sports or fitness subsidies like some tech companies? (Example:  Microsoft offers subsidies from fancy sports clubs, like the ProClub, to reimbursed tennis, running, or hiking shoes.  Of course, not every startup or struggling business has such deep pockets.)


If you have a free or subsidized cafeteria, are there healthy options, including organic and fresh food? Is food locally sourced, or vegetarian (like WeWork), thereby contributing to the community and minimizing its environmental footprint? Do cafeterias have relationships with local restaurants, or are they a threat to nearby businesses by keeping people contained in a corporate park?  (San Francisco area companies think free food at headquarters, even with healthy options, is not the way to go if it hurts local businesses. Read about the effort to shut down free food at Facebook by Mountain View here.)

© Emeraldology 2018