The Alphabet Workers Union launched a campaign Tuesday to push Google to allow employees to use their chosen names on ID badges. The move comes after Phares Lee, a transgender man who works at a Google data center in South Carolina and is employed by security subcontracting firm G4S, asked to have his deadname removed from his badge and was denied.
Lee came out as transgender during his initial interview with G4S. “I was assured [Google] was inclusive, yet when I asked about a badge in my preferred name I was told that my badge had to reflect my legal name,” he says in an interview with The Verge. “After arriving on site and being issued the badge with my dead name, I noticed there were many people on site, both cis and transgender, whose badges did not reflect their legal names.”
Lee’s experience reflects a growing sentiment within Google’s contract workforce, that TVCs (temporary, vendor, and contract employees) do not have the same rights and benefits as full-time Google staff.
In 2019, Google ended a long-time policy that forced employees to settle workplace disputes in private arbitration with the company. Yet the change did not extend to Google’s third-party contractors. “Contracting companies, like G4S, are allowed to make rules for their employees that directly contradict [Google’s] commitment to inclusion,” Lee explains.
Lee says that when he arrived at the data center, he was the only transgender security officer on site. In an attempt…