Ep 2 – Google & Gig Workers

Welcome to the Workology Go Podcast. In just under five minutes, we get you the HR and workplace news you need before you start your day. Get ready, get set and go with the Workology Go Podcast.

Here are today’s HR and workplace news headlines from Workology Go Podcast. I’m Jessica Miller-Merrell. The Workology Go Podcast is sponsored by HSA Bank.

Contract Workers

Google is reported to employ more than 120,000 contractors. This according to the article from Fast Company says that contractors account for 54% of Google’s overall workforce.

The use of temporary and contract workers is growing. 

A reported 10.6 million workers were independent contractors in 2017, accounting for nearly 7 percent of the American workforce - U.S. Labor Department. #gigworkers #contractworkers #HR Click To Tweet

Earlier this year, the National Labor Relations Board overturned an Obama-era standard for deciding whether workers are employees protected by federal labor law or independent contractors who are not, giving a boost to companies that prefer to use contract labor.

What’s really interesting about the Fast Company article isn’t just that Google is reported to have a larger than average percentage of contract workers. It’s that Google recently announced that the company will require vendors and contractors to provide their workers with specific perks and benefits including comprehensive healthcare, a $15 per hour minimum wage, 12 weeks or parental leave and 8 days of annual sick leave. Some might believe these new requirements might be a form of co-employment.

Joe Belenski of Knowledge Services shared with us on a previous Workology podcast interview some of the challenges in hiring, engaging, and working with contract workers.

A large part of that is establishing a clear employment relationship. Is that well-established and outlined not just in an employment agreement but on the front end when they’re going through the application processes and things like that? Another key is avoiding 1099 designations except where expressly explicitly appropriate. So we follow strictly the IRS is 1099 guidelines and review each state’s attorney general’s guidelines relative to 1099 designations in their state. Each state applies those a little bit differently to make sure that we don’t put our customers in a position of being on the front page of a local newspaper for enforcing 1099 rules and regulations against private companies that they then don’t apply to themselves.

And then you know really separating the management of the work product in many times and on demand situations the customer is managing the work product that the resources are doing. Well you want to separate that from managing the worker. So our customers are going to manage what resources are doing but they shouldn’t be managing the worker. We’re going to alleviate that from that alleviate the burden of it and also of course the risk.”

You can read more about the contractor benefit requirements by Google which are expected to go into effect in early 2020 and the recent contractor changes by the NRLB by visiting the transcript of this podcast on Workology.com. I’m interested to hear from you if you think this is crossing a line or is it something you also might consider requiring like Google?

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More Great Resources

Ep 125 – The Place For Gig Economy in Government

Companies Using Contract Labor Get Boost From New NLRB Test

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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Jessica Miller-Merrell

Jessica Miller-Merrell (@jmillermerrell) is a workplace change agent, author and consultant focused on human resources and talent acquisition living in Austin, TX. Recognized by Forbes as a top 50 social media influencer and is a global speaker. She’s the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource and host of the Workology Podcast.

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