But last year, in an company email, a Google manager said it appeared that there were 16 additional countries, including Brazil, Canada, Australia and Mexico, with some form of equal treatment laws for temps that the company had not properly recognized and had not taken any extra steps to be compliant with the local laws.
As more countries implement new regulations, Google is being forced to take action. The Netherlands passed a new law in 2019 that required Google’s staffing agencies to provide temps with the same benefits as the company’s permanent employees such as sick pay, maternity and other paid leaves, health care and stock grants. This change affected at least seven Google temp workers in the country.
“This is a situation we ought to avoid,” Mr. Barry, Google’s compliance manager, wrote in an email to colleagues. He recommended that Google fire all seven workers before the law went into effect in 2020. Ultimately, Google said it decided to hire six of the temp workers to full-time positions for the remainder of their contracts. The other worker was let go but with three months’ pay, according to the company.
In recent years, Google has sought ways to cut back its use of temporary workers. In 2018, Google started an initiative code-named Project Brightlight, which included a review of whether jobs were being categorized correctly as part of “labor model reset.”
In one internal 2021 email, a Google executive said it had reduced the number of temps by…