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Posted on: September 2, 2021

Comptroller Schnirman Releases Living Wage Follow-Up Audit

MINEOLA, NY - Nassau County Comptroller Jack Schnirman announced the release of an audit follow-up report of Bethany House , a nonprofit agency that provides housing to homeless adult women and women with children seeking emergency shelter. The Comptroller’s Office issues audit follow-up reports to ensure accountability and to monitor progress from the original audit. The original audit focused on determining whether the organization was in compliance with the Nassau County Living Wage Law and related Rules and with the County’s Memorandum of Understanding

The audit of Bethany House , released on October 8, 2020, covered the period from January 1, 2017 through December 31, 2018. The audit provided nine audit findings and 26 recommendations, all of which appear to have been implemented. As a result, the shelter has made significant reforms and is providing better services to the County.

“This Living Wage audit follow-up demonstrates why this process is so important and delivers results," said Nassau County Comptroller Jack Schnirman . “I applaud Bethany House for holistically and expeditiously implementing our recommendations. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: now more than ever, people need a living wage to make ends meet here on Long Island, and that’s why during these challenging times, it's even more critical to look out for working families and hold contractors accountable. Follow-ups aren't about playing 'gotcha' but about focusing on outcomes that benefit residents and taxpayers. Without a doubt, these are proof that audits achieve outcomes so that we can ensure a living wage.”

In 2019, the Comptroller’s Office and County Executive signed new Living Wage rules that allow the County to review the parent and subsidiary of a vendor that has a contract with the County when determining waiver eligibility requirements to ensure that contractors cannot skirt paying the Living Wage.

The Nassau County Living Wage Law was originally enacted in 2007 to raise the minimum wage of employees of most vendors with County service contracts. It ensures that employees of certain companies that Nassau County does business with areearning the Living Wage of $17.06 per hour without benefits or $14.69 per hour with benefits.

Since 2007, the Comptroller’s Office, working with the County’s Living Wage Advisory Board, has released 48 Living Wage audit reports encompassing 38 different contractors, identifying a total of more than $1.5 million in underpaid wages and uncompensated time in 2,092 instances. Since taking office, Schnirman has revitalized the Committee, ensuring it holds regular and collaborative meetings with labor and County government leaders to review contractor compliance with the law, reduce the issuance of wavers, and protect workers with new initiatives including the bilingual Living Wage hotline (516-571-WAGE). For more information about the Comptroller’s Office results with County living wage advisory board will be available in the Office’s upcoming annual Living Wage Report for 2020.

You can read the reports at www.nassaucountyny.gov/audits.

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