Critical Thinking Exercise: Google Mismanages Independent Contractors
A former Google worker sued the tech giant and the online staffing firm oDesk (now part of Upwork, a global freelancing platform) alleging that he and others were misclassified as independent contractors rather than Google employees. According to the suit, the employee was paid as an independent contractor through oDesk and assigned projects that were impossible for him to complete in the maximum 30 hours per week that he was authorized to bill. This forced him to work additional hours on his own time, without the benefit of overtime pay to which he was legally entitled to under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Google also provided the worker with a mobile phone, tablet, and laptop computer while he worked at Google offices in New York. Google further required that the worker use Google proprietary software and conform to the employee code of conduct in regards to absenteeism, blogging, and dress code. The worker complained about nonpayment of the additional work hours and attempted to renegotiate his contract. Google ended his contract and hired another independent contractor. The worker filed a class action lawsuit against Google and oDesk on behalf of himself and other workers Google treated in the same manner.11 A private settlement with undisclosed terms was reached in 2015. How should Google have managed this worker differently and avoided a (likely) expensive class action lawsuit? Would it be unethical for other firms to avoid hiring this worker based on his action of filing a class action lawsuit?
Answer:- First of all ethically speaking, if an independent contractor is hired he is not to be treated as an employee and the contract is binding on him as well as the company. Google should have set a preceedent in the IT industry by genuinely hearing out the needs of the contractor/s, if this could have been dealt behind the doors of the conference room by indulging all the parties involved. Goog ... See the full answer