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Google Refuses to Hand Over Employment Data Claiming Burden — Chicago Overtime Attorneys Near Oak Brook

Considering how much time and resources Google devotes to collecting data from its users, it seems odd for the tech giant to claim a request for data on how they compensate their employees is overly burdensome.

Google had taken on millions of dollars in federal contract work before it was selected in September 2015 for a mandatory equal opportunity compliance evaluation in regards to the company’s government contracts. Because there are federal laws in place that require employers to pay all their workers equally and fairly (regardless of sex, race, ethnicity, religion, etc.), the Department of Labor (DOL) maintains an Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, which ensures the companies performing contract work for the government are abiding by the federal compensation laws.

Google has refused to provide the relevant data pertaining to how it pays its employees, claiming the vast amount of information requested would require too much time and money for them to compile all the data. Google claims the information the DOL is requesting comprises more than 1.3 million data points and hundreds of thousands of pages of information. It also alleges much of the data the DOL is requesting is not relevant to how Google compensates its employees and to provide it would be to compromise the confidentiality of their workers.

Google did hand over some documents earlier in the year, but when it refused to hand over the names and contact information of more than 21,000 employees, the DOL sued the tech company to try to force them to provide the information.

The DOL said testimony in the case made it clear that Google could afford to provide the information without going broke. In fact, the agency pointed out that Google was probably paying more in attorneys’ fees to defend their right not to turn over the information than the company would have had to pay to compile the data in the first place.

The DOL also pointed out that the cost alone does not make the its request for the relevant information unconstitutional, saying Google agreed to cooperate with the DOL’s investigation when the company took on government contract work worth millions of dollars.

That said, Google did note people working for the tech company had allegedly already spent more than 2,000 hours working to provide the DOL with the requested data, and that to provide the detailed employee information the DOL was requesting would allegedly require an additional 400-500 hours and an estimated half a million dollars.

Google insists money is not the problem, saying their refusal to provide the requested information has more to do with the request being overly burdensome and unreasonable. Google also insisted that accepting government work did not qualify as waiving its constitutional rights.

Google is not the first employer to refuse to hand over such information. Although the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled, in a separate case, that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) could force employers to hand over personally identifiable information about their workers, the decision was appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, which reversed the Ninth Circuit Court’s ruling.

However the judge rules in the DOL’s current case against Google, an appeal to a higher court is likely, which means this won’t necessarily be the end of this dispute.

The Chicago class action lawyers at the Chicago Overtime Law Center are investigating unpaid overtime claims by waiters and bus boys and other restaurant and hotel workers against national restaurant chains including Hilton, DoubleTree, W, Marriott, Sheraton, Holiday Inn, Extended Stay America, Staybridge Suites, Best Western, HomeTown Buffet, Old Country Buffet, Applebees, Chipotle, Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Cracker Barrel, Outback Steak House, Taco Bell, Burger King, Chili’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, Wendy’s and hotels for mis-classifying employees as managers or assistant managers, forcing employees to work off the clock at business, failing to share all tips, erasing or altering time sheets or time records, pressuring workers not to report or record overtime, and otherwise failing to pay workers for overtime and other wages. If you are the victim these wage theft practices call us at (312) 869-4095 or contact us online.

The Chicago class action attorneys at the Chicago Overtime Law Center have three decades of experience fighting to help employees who are victims of wage, overtime and tip theft by their employers. We have a team of Chicago unpaid overtime lawyers who concentrate on prosecuting state and nationwide class action lawsuits. Our attorneys work out of Chicago and Oak Brook offices and pursue claims for workers all over the Chicago area including Plainfield and Elk Grove Village. We protect unpaid workers who haven’t received overtime throughout the Chicago area including in DuPage, Lake, McHenry, Kane and Cook Counties.

Our Elgin, Berwyn and Bollingbrook overtime lawyers are intimately familiar with the issues that arise during wage claim litigation, and we know the laws that govern overtime cases well. Many employers mis-classify employees as being exempt from overtime laws and pay workers salaries instead of hourly wages in order to avoid paying them overtime. Some employers mistakenly classify employees as exempt and others intentionally do so in order to circumvent the law. In either case, workers do not receive the wages they should, and a lawsuit may be the only way to recover their earned wages.

The Chicago Overtime Law Center is based in Chicago, and represents clients throughout the country who have unpaid overtime and other employment right claims.