Google faces whistleblower complaint that it underpaid temp workers

Brussels claims European Parliament violated data protection law on its Covid test website

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Google is facing whistleblower complaints that it has underpaid temp workers millions since 2019.

A new investigation carried out by The Guardian pulls no punches while detailing Google’s treatment of temporary workers.

According to the report: “Google has been illegally underpaying thousands of temporary workers in dozens of countries and delayed correcting the pay rates for more than two years as it attempted to cover up the problem.”

The Guardian says it has seen documents indicating that Google has known about this problem since 2019, and “rather than immediately correct the errors, the company dragged its feet for more than two years, the documents show, citing concern about the increased cost to departments that rely heavily on temporary workers, potential exposure to legal claims, and fear of negative press attention.”

Google employs many temp workers for various purposes across its tech empire, and many countries in the UK, Europe, and Asia have laws that mandate those workers be paid as much as regular employees. The Guardian report says that Google hasn’t been doing this and that “Google admitted the failures and said it would conduct an investigation after being contacted by the Guardian.”

“While the team hasn’t increased the comparator rate benchmarks for some years, actual pay rates for temporary staff have increased numerous times in that period. Most temporary staff are paid significantly more than the comparator rates.

“Nevertheless, it’s clear that this process has not been handled consistent with the high standards to which we hold ourselves as a company. We’re doing a thorough review, and we’re committed to identifying and addressing any pay discrepancies that the team has not already addressed. And we’ll be conducting a review of our compliance practices in this area. In short, we’re going to figure out what went wrong here [and] why it happened, and we’re going to make it right,” said Google Chief Compliance Officer Spyro Karetsos.

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Ron Howells

Ron actually started his working career as an Ophthalmic Technician- things changed when, during a band rehearsal, his amplifier blew up and he couldn’t get it fixed so he took a course at Birmingham University and ended up doing a degree course. He built up a chain of electronics stores and sold them as a franchise over 35 years ago. After five years touring the world Ron decided to move to Spain with his wife and son, a place they had visited over the years, and only bought the villa they live in because it has a guitar-shaped swimming pool!. Playing the guitar since the age of 7, he can often be seen, (and heard!) at beach bars and clubs along the length of the coast. He has always been interested in the news and constantly thrives to present his articles in an interesting and engaging way.