Google may end up in hot water after years of not paying temp workers a similar wage as full-time employees.
According to a report in The New York Times, Google has spent years paying some temp workers less than their full-time counterparts. While that may not be an issue in some jurisdictions, others require temp users to be paid a comparable wage to full-timers if the work they do is comparable.
The Times reviewed emails that show Google became aware of the problem, thanks to Alan Barry, one of the company’s compliance managers in Ireland. Barry wrote in an email that, from a “compliance perspective,” the correct move was to adjust its pay rate for all temps. However, Barry pointed out that doing so would likely bring attention to Google’s past non-compliance.
“The cost is significant and it would give rise to a flurry of noise/frustration,”Barry wrote. “I’m also not keen to invite the charge that we’ve allowed this situation to persist for so long that the correction required is significant.”
Ultimately, the company decided not to correct the pay for all temps, instead raising pay only for new hires brought on in 2021. The issue was finally brought to light thanks to a whistleblower who reported the company to the SEC.
It’s unclear if the SEC, or any other government agency is currently investigating. Nonetheless, it’s believed Google may ultimately have shorted temp workers a whopping $100 million, not including fines and legal fees the company may have to pay if a case is brought against it.