Living Wage FAQ
What is the Living Wage Law?
The Nassau County Living Wage Law establishes wages and benefits that must be paid to employees who work for an employer who is working pursuant to a County contract. The Law also applies to employees working on County property that has been leased to their employer.
When does the Law take effect?
The law applies to contracts and leases that are or were agreed to, renewed or extended on or after January 1, 2007.
What County contracts are covered?
The Living Wage Law applies to what it calls “service contracts”. “Service contracts” are contracts to provide services to or for the County. The contracts must involve an expenditure equal to or greater than twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000.00). The Law excludes contracts where services are incidental to the delivery of products, equipment or commodities.
What if the County gave an economic benefit to my employer?
The Living Wage Law applies to what it calls “County Financial Assistance Recipients (CFAR)”. When the County gives a grant, loan, tax incentive or tax abatement, bond financing, subsidy or other form of assistance of more than fifty thousand dollars ($50,000.00) to an entity with at least ten (10) employees, that entity would be a Covered Employer under the Living Wage Law. Workers at the CFAR who expend at least 50% of their time on the funded project/program or property which is the subject of the financial assistance are entitled to wages and benefits under the Living Wage Law.
What County leases are covered?
Any lease, concession agreement, or other agreement authorizing any party to occupy, use, control or do business on property owned or controlled by the County are covered by the law.
What Employers are covered by the Living Wage Law?
Under the Law, employer means:
- the County.
- any entity or person who is a County Financial Assistance Recipient (CFAR).
- a County contractor or subcontractor, a County lessee, or a service contractor of a CFAR,
- a building services contractor or subcontractor of a County lessee.
Who is NOT a Covered Employer?
The Law DOES NOT apply to vendors who enter into the following types of contracts and leases with the County:
- service contracts and financial assistance in relation to the furnishing of child care services, pre-school services and early intervention services.
- contracts where services are incidental to the delivery of products, equipment or commodities.
- inter-governmental contracts and financial assistance contracts in regard to industrial development bonds, community development block grant loans and enterprise-zone incentives.
Is Nassau Community College a Covered Employer?
Yes. Nassau Community College as well as its contractors and subcontractors is a Covered Employer under the Law.
Who is a Covered Employee?
- County employees.
- A service employee of a County contractor or subcontractor who spends any time working on the County contract greater than $25,000.
- A service employee of a County Financial Assistance Recipient (CFAR) who spends at least 50% of his or her time on the funded project/program or property which is the subject of the County financial assistance.
- A service employee of a subcontractor of a CFAR who expends 50% of his or her time on the premises of the CFAR and is directly involved with the funded project/program or property which is the subject of County financial assistance.
- A service employee of a County lessee who spend at least 50% of his or her time on the leased premises.
Who is NOT a Covered Employee?
The Law DOES NOT apply to the following types of employees:
- Employees under 18 years of age who are being claimed as a dependent for federal tax purposes and who are working as an after-school or summer employee.
- trainees in a bona fide training program.
- disabled employees covered by a current sub-minimum wage certificate issued to the employer by the United States Department of Labor or if the disabled employee would be covered by such a certificate but for the fact that the employer is paying a wage equal to or higher than the federal minimum wage.
- Child care, pre-school or sleep away camp employees
- Student Interns working for Nassau County and student workers working for Nassau Community College
- Medicaid funded assisted living program facilities that were providing services within Nassau County prior to 2006 and who continue to provide such services.
What salary am I entitled to under the Living Wage Law?
Since the Living Wage Law took effect in January 2007, the Living Wage has increased incrementally on August 1 of each year. Today the law requires employees be paid $13.35 (including health benefits) or $15.21 (without health benefits) until July 31, 2014. At this time the wage will be adjusted upward by a percentage equal to the change in the New York Metropolitan Area All Urban Index (NY CPI-U) as promulgated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor (CPI) for the period of June of the preceding year to June of the current year. In no event shall such wage increase be greater than three and one-half percent.
Are there other benefits?
Yes. Covered Employees are entitled to receive either health benefits or a health benefit supplement of $1.86 per hour. Additionally, Covered Employees who work 20 hours or more per week are entitled to at least 12 compensated days off per year for sick leave, vacation or personal necessity, which may include paid holidays. The Law does not require compensated days off for employees working less than 20 hours per week.
As a Covered Employer, how do I apply for a Waiver?
If you believe that you qualify for a waiver, please contact:
County of Nassau
Attention: Living Wage Waiver Review Officer
One West Street
Mineola, New York 11501
For more information on waiver eligibility, please review the Rules of the County Executive: The Nassau County Living Wage Law. The Rules are available on-line by clicking here or you may request them from the Comptroller’s Living Wage Unit at (516) 571-3668.
Where can I obtain more information about applying for County financial assistance?
For all questions regarding County financial assistance, please contact the Nassau County Office of County Attorney at (516) 571-3056.
Where can I obtain more information about the Living Wage Law?
If you have any questions about the Living Wage Law or you think you are a covered employee and are not receiving the benefits you are entitled to under the Law, please contact the Nassau County Comptroller’s Living Wage Unit at (516) 571-3668.
How can an employee file a complaint?
If you think you are a covered employee who is not receiving the living wage rates and/or benefits, you can file a complaint with the Nassau County Comptroller’s Living Wage Unit at (516) 571-3668. Printable complaint forms can be obtained by clicking here or you can submit your complaint directly online. You can also obtain a complaint form by contacting the Living Wage Unit at (516) 571-3668.
What if my employer retaliates against me or subjects me to discrimination?
Section 11 of the Living Wage Law prohibits retaliation and discrimination. If you believe that you have been the victim of retaliation and/or discrimination, you may file a complaint with the Living Wage Unit. All complaints will be kept confidential.
Where can I get a copy of the law?
The Living Wage Law is available on-line by clicking here.