DOL sues Google for not releasing equal opportunity records

Dive Brief:

  • The U.S. Department of Labor is suing Alphabet Inc's Google unit for not allowing the department to access its equal opportunity compensation data and records, reports Reuters. DOL requires all government contractors to provide this information as a routine audit procedure.
  • The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) requested the information in September 2015, says Reuters. So far, the company hasn't complied, said the OFCCP.
  • A Google spokesperson told Reuters that the company has submitted hundreds of thousands of documents to the OFCCP to comply with the current audit, and argued that the agency's requests are "overboard in scope" or expose employee's confidential information.

Dive Insight:

The internet giant and the federal government appeared to be at a standstill, until the DOL filed suit. Government contractors must abide by many rules, including DOL's EEO goals for recruiting and hiring. By suing Google, the department shows that it's vigorously enforcing the rules.

For its part, Google says it has handed over "hundreds of thousands" of records, but is drawing the line at some employee data. In this age of privacy concerns, Google might have a case. And yet, companies looking to do business with the federal government know requirements must be met. 

If Google loses in court, it might be liable for a large payout. Smaller, less affluent companies must weigh turning over the required materials as requested and working on satisfying OFCCP goals against having to pay a large settlement.  

Filed Under: Recruiting Legal