April 2, 2013

Maragos: Not-for-Profit Homeless Shelter Provider Shortchanged Employees over $120,000

Mineola, NY- Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos released his audit of Peace Valley Haven, a not-for-profit that provides emergency shelter to homeless men and women. The audit found a lack of compliance with the Nassau County Living Wage Law in the case of 26 employees being underpaid a combined $120,000 during 2010 and 2011.

“These employees provide a crucial service to our most needy and deserve to be paid fairly according to our law,” said Comptroller Maragos. “I am pleased that the company has agreed to reimburse the affected employees for their lost wages.”

Peace Valley collectively owes the employees more than $120,000 from paying hourly rates that were lower than those mandated by the Law which is currently $14.91 an hour.  The affected employees consisted primarily of house managers and clerical staff. Additionally, certain company procedures relating to employee payouts for accumulated leave time were determined to be in violation of the Law.

In response to the audit, Peace Valley acknowledged that they had underpaid employees during 2010 and 2011, due to an oversight. Peace Valley offered a payment plan that would pay each employee or former employee a minimum of $100 per month. However, the Comptroller’s Office recommended that Peace Valley pay the employees as expeditiously as possible until the deficiencies were resolved.  Peace Valley has already updated its personnel manual to ensure compliance with the Law.

The Nassau County Living Wage Law was enacted by the Nassau County Legislature in 2006 to raise the minimum wage of County employees and employees working for most of the County’s contractors.  The Comptroller’s Office is responsible for monitoring compliance with the Law.  The Living Wage is currently $14.91 an hour without health benefits, or $13.11 with health benefits.

PDF Peace Valley Living Wage Report

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