Department of Labor files lawsuit against Google for compensation data

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    Earlier this month the US Department of Labor filed a lawsuit against Google because of their failure to submit information as part of a routine compliance evaluation. According to the lawsuit, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs requested data citing that Google had already agreed “to comply with the rules, regulations, and relevant orders of the Secretary of Labor”. This agreement is made by any company in exchange for doing business with the US Government.

    Some of the specific compensation data requested were: starting salary, starting position, starting job code, starting job family, starting job level, starting organization for a September 1, 2015 snapshot. The lawsuit also mentions a request for the names and contact information for employees in the previously-produced September 1, 2015 snapshot and the requested September 1, 2014 snapshot.

    “Like other federal contractors, Google has a legal obligation to provide relevant information requested in the course of a routine compliance evaluation,” said OFCCP Acting Director Thomas M. Dowd. “Despite many opportunities to produce this information voluntarily, Google has refused to do so. We filed this lawsuit so we can obtain the information we need to complete our evaluation.”

    If Google continues to refuse to provide the data and thus not allowing the OFCCP to complete the review, they will seek to cancel any existing contracts and bar them from entering into any new contracts until this noncompliance complaint is satisfied.

    In a response from a Google spokesperson to Techcrunch, they have supplied “hundreds of thousands” of documents including data related to their employee compensation.

    “We’re very committed to our affirmative action obligations, and to improving the diversity of our workforce, and have been very vocal about the importance of these issues,” the spokesperson said. “As a federal contractor, we’re familiar with our obligations and have worked collaboratively with the OFCCP.”

    In regards to the request for contact information, the spokesperson went on to say “that are the subject of the complaint are overbroad in scope, or reveal confidential data, and we’ve made this clear to the OFCCP, to no avail. These requests include thousands of employees’ private contact information which we safeguard rigorously. We hope to continue working with OFCCP to resolve this matter.”

    According to USA Spending the 2017 Fiscal year had awarded $42 billion dollars for all contracts with $31.5 Billion dollars awarded to companies in California.

    A search on fmo.gov shows that Google has been awarded three contracts since 2006. One contract lists the amount awarded at over $26 million dollars.

    If Google gets banned from entering into any business contracts then this will open the door for competitors to swoop in and secure these lucrative deals.