Google scraps minimum wage, benefits rules for suppliers and staffing firms

Google scraps minimum wage, benefits rules for suppliers and staffing firms

Alphabet Inc’s ( GOOGL.O ) Google on Friday said it would roll back a requirement that U.S. suppliers and staffing firms pay their workers at least $15 an hour and provide health insurance and other benefits, a move that would allow the tech giant to avoid negotiating with trade union.

The elimination of the 2019 policy, along with other measures such as limiting access by temporary workers and vendors to internal systems, is designed to comply with changing US and global labor regulations related to contingent workers, a spokeswoman for Mountain View, California-based Google . told Reuters.

“This update brings us in line with other large companies and simply clarifies that Google is not, and has never been, an employer of our supplier employees,” the spokesperson said.

The announcement comes after the US National Labor Relations Board ruled in January that Google is a so-called “joint employer” of workers provided by staffing firm Cognizant Technology Solutions and must negotiate with their union. Google appealed the decision.

The board relied in part on the 2019 policy, saying it allows Google to exercise control over workers even if it does not directly employ them.

The labor board has moved to make it harder for companies to avoid negotiating with temporary and contract workers, including adopting a rule last year that says companies with indirect control over working conditions can be considered employers of contract workers. A federal judge blocked the rule from taking effect in March.

A Google spokeswoman on Friday said the company would continue to enforce its supplier code of conduct that requires vendors and staffing firms to provide safe working conditions and meet existing legal obligations.

Most of the company’s suppliers operate in states that mandate a minimum wage of at least $15, the spokeswoman said.

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