Google Has a Terrible, Degrading Policy. Here’s Why You Should Adopt it.

by Evil HR Lady on December 17, 2018

49.9 percent of the people who “work” at Google, don’t actually work for Google. They are temporary employees, contractors, and vendors, even if they show up on one of the Google campuses every day. And someone just released shocking internal documents that show how Google treats these “TVCs” differently.

Honestly, it seems awful. You can’t even give TVCs a Google t-shirt. They shouldn’t come to certain meetings, and they don’t get all company-wide email distributions.

It’s like they’re second class citizens.

But, here’s the deal: if you’re going to have temps, vendors, and contractors working for your company you have to treat them differently than you treat your employees. Not because you’re mean and horrible, but because that is how the law works.

Google, said in an internal document, reported by The Guardian:

To keep reading, click here: Google Has a Terrible, Degrading Policy. Here’s Why You Should Adopt it.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Goober December 17, 2018 at 5:19 pm

Everything you say is, of course, true throughout the US, but Google is a California company, and it’s even more true here. The labor board doesn’t seem to actually care about employees any more than anywhere else, but they *love* to crucify employers, so the laws tend to get enforced with great enthusiasm, especially against companies that can pay steep fines.

As for TVCs getting paid subsistence wages and no benefits, or experience illegal discrimination, perhaps they should take that up with their employer. Which is not Google. If the labor board takes issue with their employer, things will change, whether Google likes it or not.

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Lou Redmond December 17, 2018 at 6:29 pm

It really is unfortunate how Google treats these workers – and the truth is that they are asked to do the same work alongside FTE’s. Restricting relevant and timely information whether about the work , the org or the environment is important….and I can guarantee that any org that hires TVC’s is is violation of the Co-employment rues…the minute you tell someone where and when to work and what to work on, and how to do it, you are in violation. And temps who are in a role for 6months + should be hired. Writing training docs doesn’t change the fact that orgs ARE circumnavigating employment laws to keep from paying benefits, retirement, etc.

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KDT December 17, 2018 at 7:17 pm

In most cases, that’s easy to get around. The contractor is an employee of an outside agency that contracts with Google.

And I can’t speak for working for Google, but I always end up with higher total comp when I am a W2 contractor than when I work salaried.

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c andrew December 17, 2018 at 8:13 pm

Hewlett-Packard has been using this approach for decades; at least going back to the early 90s. I was always amused at how long HP maintained the position that they had ‘never laid anyone off’.

Well, technically, that was true, if ‘anyone’ meant actual employees of HP. But the Temps and Contractors were laid out in windrows at the first sign of a market shift.

I always thought that their PR on this particular point was at best disingenuous. I had no problem with their use and disuse of T&C. Just thought that they were claiming credit where it really wasn’t due.

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c andrew December 17, 2018 at 8:18 pm

BTW, I was a vendor during this time period. We did confidential product roll-outs to software developers. In the 12 years that we were operative, we didn’t lose a single prototype or proprietary item that was entrusted to our care.

Nevertheless, we were dismissed as a vendor because they had ‘concerns’ about our product security. What a laugh. I know for a fact that they lost 13 prototypes in the product rollout that preceded ours, at that was all handled internal to the local HP site. As I said earlier, we never lost a single item in our care.

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MariaRose December 17, 2018 at 8:26 pm

Contractual workers are one of the versions of labor staffing used to keep labor costs down. It all comes down to getting the job done. If employees want a job with all the bells and whistles (benefits), there’s usually a negotiated salary pay cost to cover the benefit costs (benefits are part of the salary cost). More businesses are following this trend of contractual workers to only pay per job need.

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Anonymous December 17, 2018 at 10:04 pm

From the actual Medium article: “When the tragic shooting occurred at YouTube in April of this year, the company sent real-time security updates to full-time employees only, leaving TVCs defenseless in the line of fire. TVCs were then excluded from a town hall discussion the following day. ”

“We want access to town hall discussions; all communications about safety, discrimination, and sexual misconduct; and a reinstatement of our access to internal forums like Google Groups”

Seems a bit more substantial than griping about not getting company t-shirts, no?

And honestly, yes, if people of color and other marginalized groups are over-represented in the TVC workforce – and so clearly capable of doing the work required based on the fact that they make up 50% of the people working for Google – but under-represented in the Google workforce as a whole, I’d say it does raise questions about institutionalized racism at Google.

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BethRA December 17, 2018 at 10:04 pm

Sorry, that was me.

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