According to an article by The Verge, subcontractors at Google, also called the company’s “shadow workforce” which consists of programmers, graphic designers, human resource employees, and other workers with roles outside of the core engineering teams, are alleging wage theft amounting to thousands of dollars per person due to wage skimming by third party recruitment companies.
Accenture and Artech: Third parties opening the door for wage theft
The Verge states that Google will often use what are called “nesting contract agencies” to hire their subcontractors. An example of such a nesting contract system is Google’s use of Accenture, which in turn uses the company Artech to onboard workers. Accenture was meant to set the pay rate for each role before the subcontractor was hired. However, in 2019 workers began realizing that their pay stubs were reflecting a $5-$10 lower hourly rate than their specified pay.
Word of Mouth alerts Google subcontractors to wage theft
According to The Verge, most of these underpaid workers were either unaware of the pay discrepancy or assumed that it had only occurred once as an isolated incident. Workers learned of this alleged practice only through word of mouth. As Guy Mylius, a contract Google employee in the Bay Area stated:
This seems to be a pattern. It’s not just that this was an error on my paycheck. I’ve personally talked to five or six people who are at Accenture who have had the same experience.
When reached for comment, Artech stated that an internal investigation of the complaint had shown that all employees were paid “in accordance with their employment agreements”, and “denies the allegations in their entirety”. Oddly, Mylius received his full back pay from Artech shortly after their public statement was issued.
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