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Able Health Care Service, Inc. underpaid workers, audit says

A Nassau vendor that provides residents with home health care aides violated the county’s Living Wage Law by underpaying four employees by nearly $32,000, according to an audit released Monday by Nassau Comptroller George Maragos.

The report found that from 2014 to 2015, Able Health Care Service Inc. of Merrick, which has a contract with Nassau’s Department of Social Services to provide in-home aid to clients covered by Medicaid, failed to pay four live-in aides for 2,094 hours they worked, for a total of $31,604 in wages.

The workers were scheduled to work 13-hour shifts but were paid for only 10 hours — a violation of Able’s contract with the county. Able said it has since reimbursed the employees for the past-due wages.

“It is gratifying that we were able to recover significant sums for underpaid employees,” said Maragos, a Democrat running for county executive. “We will not condone any employee being underpaid.”

The audit also found that eight employees were owed a total of $435 for accrued leave time that they had earned.

Sandy Weintraub, executive director of Able Health Services, said in a written response included in the audit that the company’s computer system has been “programmed to ensure aides on Nassau County cases are paid 13 hours for live-in cases and accurately tracks accrued paid time off and health benefits. Able will be doing random audits to ensure compliance with all regulations.”

It was unclear whether Able plans to reimburse its employees the $435 in accrued leave time. Weintraub did not respond to a request for comment Monday.

The Living Wage Law requires that county vendors and contractors pay their staff at least $13.73 per hour if they also provide health insurance, and $15.78 per hour to workers without benefits.

In addition, full-time employees of county vendors are entitled to 12 paid days off, while part-timers working at least 20 hours per week must receive a proportionate amount of time off.

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