November 3, 2014
By Stephanie West
New York, NY – Shorefront Mental Health Board hired by the Office of Mental Health (OMH) to provide janitorial services consistently failed to pay its workers prevailing wage rates. Shorefront tried to hide its non-compliance with state law by misrepresenting hours worked and rates paid in certified payrolls submitted to OMH. The illegal activities was discovered in an audit by the New York State Comptroller.
“New York state law requires contractors working for the state to pay the prevailing wage rates and fringe benefits set for the locality where the work is performed, but my auditors found numerous violations committed by the Shorefront Mental Health Board,” DiNapoli said. “This contractor unconscionably cheated disabled employees out of thousands of dollars. OMH needs to take immediate action to make sure contractors follow the law to protect all workers.”
A comprehensive audit concluded that Shorefront underpaid 26 janitorial workers by over $123,224 at South Beach Psychiatric Center in Staten Island during 2013. Shorefront may have underpaid its janitorial staff since November 1, 2011, when its contract started. Financial reviews are continuing to determine if the company has underpaid janitorial personnel on other prior and current contracts.
After DiNapoli’s auditors met with Shorefront officials in January 2014, the contractor continued paying employees for fewer hours than they actually worked. The company told staff to submit blank time sheets to be completed by management. One worker who disregarded this directive posted a total of 72 hours to time sheets for January 20, 2014 through February 14, 2014. Paystubs and payroll vendor records show this employee was paid $600.34, but should have been paid $2,201.04. Other payroll information reviewed reflected similar discrepancies.