Google may be violating labor laws with temporary workers’ wages
But last year, in a company email, a Google manager said it appeared there were 16 additional countries, including Brazil, Canada, Australia and Mexico, that had some form of equal treatment laws for temps that the company had properly implemented. nor did it take any additional steps to comply with local laws.
As more countries implement the new rules, Google is being forced to act. The Netherlands passed a new law in 2019 requiring Google’s staffing agencies to provide benefits similar to the company’s permanent employees such as sick pay, maternity and other paid leave, health care and stock grants. The change affected at least seven Google temporary employees in the country.
“This is a situation we must avoid,” Mr. Barry, Google’s compliance manager, wrote in an email to colleagues. He recommended that Google fire all seven employees before the law goes into effect in 2020. Ultimately, Google said it decided to hire six temporary employees into full-time positions for the remainder of its contracts. The other employee was laid off but with three months’ salary, according to the company.
In recent years, Google has sought ways to reduce its use of temporary employees. In 2018, Google launched an initiative called Project Brightlight, which included a review of whether jobs were being classified correctly, as part of a “labour model reset.”
In an internal 2021 email, a Google executive said it has reduced the number of temps by 2,700 employees since 2018. Most of those positions were outsourced, the email said, while 750 temps were turned into full-time employees.
The project also sought to establish temporary pay parity with permanent employees doing similar work in the United States by 2019.
In a preliminary 2019 study to weigh the financial impact of taking the move in the United States, where Google hires more than half of its temporary workers, the company estimated that it would bring wages to more than 4,000 temporary workers. will cost up to $52 million. Up to the minimum wage of the newly appointed permanent employee.
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