For the past two years, Google has been knowingly flouting laws in the UK, Europe and Asia by failing to pay thousands of temporary workers the same rates as full-time employees for similar work.
According to internal Google documents and emails accessed by The Guardian , company executives had been aware of this situation since May 2019. Still, they put fear of possible retaliation , such as potential legal claims or converting. in the spotlight of the press, to correct the root problem.
At one point, Google came to implement an insufficient and questionable plan from the legal and ethical point of view , although economically affordable.
Google, through Spyro Karetsos, the company’s compliance director, says in a statement that the real wage rates for temporary workers have increased since 2019 . However, it admits that this process has not been carried out in the correct way and, therefore, it has launched an investigation with which to resolve the pending salary discrepancies.
Google’s knowing breach has reached the US Securities Commission through an anonymous complaint filed by Whistleblower Aid. As the complainant understands, by failing to include this information in its quarterly financial reports, Google is also violating US securities laws .
Like many other tech giants, Google doesn’t directly employ the more than 100,000 temporary workers, vendors, and contractors that perform work on its behalf, employment agencies do. Google’s problem is that its temporary workforce exceeds its direct employee base , something that the company’s own employees, as well as politicians and unions, have long criticized.
Although it is not known exactly how much money Google has not paid to its temporary workers, estimates exist. According to an internal document, the company would have to increase spending on the wages of 1,200 temporary workers in the EMEA and APAC regions by $ 17.3 million to comply with wage parity laws. However, the analysis only took into account the correction for new hires, so the total amount could be much higher.