Back in 2019, a New York Times report pointed out Google’s strong figure of 121,000 temporary employees as “a shadow work force that now outnumbers the company’s full-time employees.”
Now, according to eh latest news, a whistleblower has filed a complaint with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) stating that gaps in pay between temporary workers and full-time employees doing similar work have widened over the last few years. The whistleblower is being represented by lawyers from Whistleblower Aid. It claimed that Google misled investors in the US by not reporting the legal and financial liabilities.
Google chief compliance officer Spyro Karetsos said “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 going to figure out what went wrong here, why it happened, and we’re going to make it right.”
In the US, it is not mandatory to pay temporary workers the same rates as full-time employees but more than 30 countries in the world have a problem with this. The problem apparently arose because Google mapped out the rates of comparable full-time roles in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) in 2012 and 2013, and the Asia/Pacific region in 2017, and later on, the company didn’t update the rates.
This meant agencies filling the temporary roles were using outdated data that didn’t match rising wages for full-time employees until compliance managers noticed the issue. The complaint points Google kept paying outdated rates. As of now, there are no words from SEC on whether they are going to investigate or not but if Google faces an inquiry or is fined, then this problem could become even more expensive.