Google eliminates minimum wage and benefits regulations for vendors & employment agencies

Google announced on Friday its decision to reverse the requirement for U.S. suppliers and staffing firms to ensure their employees receive at least $15 per hour, along with health insurance and other benefits. This move is aimed at potentially avoiding negotiations with unions. The decision to eliminate the 2019 policy aligns with Google’s efforts to comply with evolving U.S. and global labour regulations concerning contingent workers. According to a spokesperson for the Mountain View, California-based company, these changes, including restricting access for temporary workers and vendors to internal systems, are in line with industry norms and clarify that Google is not the direct employer of supplier employees.

The announcement follows a January ruling by the U.S. National Labour Relations Board that classified Google as a “joint employer” of workers supplied by staffing firm Cognizant Technology Solutions, necessitating negotiation with their union. Google is appealing this decision, with the board citing the 2019 policy as a factor in granting Google control over these workers despite not directly employing them.

The labour board has been tightening regulations to prevent companies from avoiding negotiations with temporary and contract workers, including a rule introduced last year. This rule stated that companies with indirect control over working conditions could be considered employers of contract workers, though a federal judge halted its implementation in March.

Google emphasises its commitment to enforcing a supplier code of conduct that ensures safe working conditions and compliance with legal obligations. The spokesperson noted that most of Google’s suppliers already operate in states where the minimum wage is at least $15 per hour.


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