Underpaid Temp Workers Demand Back Pay From Google

Fair labor standards differ from country to country, a key area of concern for international businesses. For example, in the United States, the Fair Labor Standards Act has set the federal minimum wage at $7.25 per hour since 2009. Because states can set their minimum wages, employers often have to pay their employees the state minimum wage, not the federal one.

On the other hand, many European countries have much stricter wage laws, requiring employers to give full-time and temporary workers the same hourly wages. Google is accused of violating these laws in its international offices, especially in Europe and Asia. Share the following details of the case with your EPLI clients to ensure that they don’t make the same errors.

What Is Going On?

Many Google employees worldwide are demanding back pay for temps, alleging that their company does not follow different countries’ labor standards. They are also accusing Google of violating labor laws intentionally rather than simply overlooking complicated regulations.

Google’s leadership first learned about the pay discrepancies in May 2019, and the problem has been ongoing since then. Independent journalism efforts from The New York Times and The Guardian helped uncover these problems, but Google initially tried to hide the crisis. Now, it has publicly declared its intention to standardize rates and ensure that it complies with all local laws.

How Many People Are Involved?

The investigation into this EPLI concern is ongoing. Google is often secretive about its employment statistics, but experts estimate that it has an average of 100,000 temporary workers and independent contractors year-round. Because of this massive workforce, the company may owe former temp workers up to $100 million in back pay.

Why Is This Case Such a Big Deal?

Google’s size and international holdings make this case a notable one. Lawyers’ and former employees’ willingness to hold this massive company accountable could result in more equitable working conditions for Google employees worldwide. The US Securities and Exchange Commission is also getting involved because of an official complaint, so Google could face sanctions or penalties in its home country, too.

What Do Insurance Agents Need to Take Away from the Crisis?

As an insurance agent, sharing the details of this case with your clients is a good way to make them examine their own policies. Are they making any of the same mistakes as Google, even if they only have domestic employees? Are they treating their temp workers unfairly in any other ways?

Similarly, this crisis is a warning sign for all businesses to take a careful look at international laws. If your EPLI clients don’t understand what their requirements are, they need to consult with a legal team immediately instead of letting the situation go.

About World Wide Specialty Programs

For the last 50 years, World Wide Specialty Programs has dedicated itself to providing the optimal products and solutions for the staffing industry. As the only insurance firm to be an ASA commercial liability partner, we are committed to that partnership and committed to using our knowledge of the industry to provide staffing firms with the best possible coverage. For more information about Staffing Professional Liability Insurance or any other coverage, we have available to protect your staffing business, give us a call at (877) 256-0468 to speak with one of our representatives.