A long-standing criticism of Google has been its two-tier workforce where half of employees are contracted out. Compared to full-time Googlers, these other workers do not get the same benefits or privileges. Google is now mandating a $15 minimum wage, health care, and paid parental leave for them.

The Hill today detailed these new requirements for temps, vendors, and contractors (TVCs), or “employees that work for companies that are under contract with Google.” This includes many service positions at Google campuses — like cafeterias and transportation shuttles — and other development roles.

  • $15 per hour minimum wage: Google in the past required TVCs to be paid the local minimum wage. This new rate comes into effect this January 2020 and starts in the U.S.
  • Comprehensive health care: A memo acquired by The Hill classifies this as “hospitalization, preventative and wellness services, laboratory and emergency services, prescription drugs, mental health services, labor and delivery, newborn and pediatric services, oral and vision care, rehabilitative and habilitative care, and counseling.” This requirement has to be implemented by January 2022.
  • Paid family leave: 12 weeks for all parents and eight sick days
  • Skills training: $5,000 per year in tuition reimbursement for courses

These policies are starting in the U.S. and comes amid a letter (via The Guardian) signed by over 900 Googlers demanding equal treatment for all employees. Full-time employees have been particularly outraged over this inequality with company benefits.

The Tech Workers Coalition argues that these policy changes are not coming into effect soon enough. Additionally, another long-standing demand to end forced arbitration for TVCs was not addressed today.

One estimate says that 54% of Google’s workforce is not directly employed by the company. Contractors that do not meet these requirements can no longer provide services and workers to Google.

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