Former Freelancer Sues Google For Overtime, Pay Violations

It’s not uncommon for employees and contractors to bring lawsuits against their employers for unpaid wages. One such suit was filed earlier this week by a former freelance worker claiming that Google didn’t pay overtime, improperly classified him as an independent contractor and terminated his contract after he asked for more hours.

Reuters reports the lawsuit [PDF], which was filed in a New York federal Court, claims that Google violated federal labor standards. The plaintiff is asking the court to designate the suit as a collective action on behalf of all Google employees.

“Despite its profitability, Google maintains policies and practices of misclassifying employees as independent contractors who are not covered by wage and hour laws, paying these employees through outside agencies, and not paying them for all hours worked,” the suit states.

According to the complaint, the plaintiff began work at the company’s New York offices in 2013 as a “site merchandiser for magazines” in the Google Play unit. The man, who made $35 per hour, was classified as a freelancer and paid through an outside agency.

Under the terms of the contract, the man was limited to billing 30 hours a week, but often worked more than that.

“Google limited the number of hours for which Plaintiff and others similarly situated could be paid,” the suit reads. “However, Google did not similarly limit the amount of work that it assigned to Plaintiff and others.”

He claims that Google declined to pay him for those extra hours or for any overtime he accumulated over 40 hours a week, despite the fact that he and others “similarly situated were often forced to work more than the maximum allowed hours in order to complete the tasks assigned to them by Google and keep their job.”

Google allegedly terminated his contract after he asked for more hours to be covered in the contract, the lawsuit states.

Officials with Google did not immediately return Reuters’ request for comment.

Lawsuits over the payment and treatment of contractors and freelance workers have increased in recent years.

Last month, Consumerist reported on a slew of class action lawsuits filed against FedEx Ground in which former workers were seeking compensation for unpaid overtime and paycheck deductions.

The company contends that the plaintiffs aren’t actual employees, but independent contractors that lack the same rights as verified employees.

Google contractor accuses company of pay, overtime violations in lawsuit [Reuters]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.