The class action suit, originally filed in 2021, concerned violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act, along with California state law. The two groups in the suit are the California class and the FLSA collective, including workers in and out of the state.
The California class includes all non-exempt Google employees who worked in the state from December 22, 2017, through June 5, 2022, and were awarded restricted stock units and/or received a sign-on bonus at that time. The FLSA collective includes Google employees who worked at the tech company from December 22, 2018, through June 5, 2022, and were also awarded restricted stock units and/or received a sign-on bonus.
Workers alleged that the company incorrectly calculated the regular rate of pay by excluding commission and stock unit payments, which led to an incorrect calculation of the overtime pay rate.
Attorneys at Nichols Kaster, one of two firms representing plaintiffs in the cases, said this miscalculation “gave Google the benefit” of paying hourly employees at lower rates than required.
The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California’s decision comes after a March 2023 preliminary approval for the nearly $8.4 million settlement.
This isn’t the first overtime class action brought against Google in recent memory. In 2018, the tech company and a staffing agency agreed to shell out about $5.5 million to settle claims it failed to properly pay recruiters and sourcing professionals. At the time, Michael Palmer, a partner at the law firm representing the Google recruiter who filed the 2016 case, said Google restricted the hours recruiters could report, “knowing that they must work overtime to meet performance goals.”