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Google Controversy Raises Issue Of Employee Misclassification

Posted on in Employment

CA employment attorneyGoogle is one of the largest employers in our area and they have a reputation for providing highly competitive salaries and benefit packages, along with numerous perks to employees. However, not all those working at the Mountain View headquarters are treated the same. Google has been embroiled in controversy recently over their practice of hiring independent contractors to fill positions, which allow them to save money both on benefits, as well as on Social Security and Medicaid benefits. This has become an increasingly hot topic in employment law, not only in our area but throughout the United States. Wrongfully classifying employees is against the law and it is important for workers to be aware of their legal rights in these situations.

Why Some Employers Favor Independent Contractors

In a late July 2018 Forbes news report on Google employment practices, the company is alleged to have a ‘shadow workforce’ of thousands of workers who are denied the perks and benefits regular full-time employees are otherwise entitled to, such as sick time and health care coverage. Google’s Alphabet Inc. admits to having close to 90,000 employees and for the first time in their 20 year history, independent contractors hired through outside agencies outnumber regular employees. Google defends the practice by claiming that temporary workers are required to fill in during busy times or to cover for maternity and medical leaves, but some question whether it is simply about saving money.

The other side of the controversy stems around the companies that provide Google with its temporary workforce. Former workers claim that temp staffing agencies are primarily concerned with claiming a percentage of their workers’ paychecks while failing to provide the proper support and offering benefit plans that are unreasonably expensive. While both companies deny any allegations of wrongdoing, some workers have banded together in initiating legal proceedings.

Misclassified Workers

Companies can face strict penalties for misclassifying full-time workers as temporary employees, which include paying fines and damages for back pay and lost benefits. According to the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR), there is no set definition for an independent contractor. However, there are some circumstances in which a worker would be considered a regular employee. These include:

  • When the worker is required to have a license or performs services for someone required to have a license;
  • When the work is part of the routine and regular business of the employer;
  • When the employer supplies the tools and other materials being used;
  • When the employee is required to work certain hours and under the direct supervision of the employer; and
  • When the employer is paid by the hour, rather than by the job.

Contact Us Today for Help

Being misclassified as a temporary worker or independent contractor can end up costing you significant amounts of money. As experienced San Jose employment law attorneys, we provide the legal guidance you need in filing a claim. Reach out and contact the Jachimowicz Law Group by calling 408-246-5500 to request a consultation today.









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