Earlier this week, Google decided to extend the contracts of many temporary staff members by 60 days. These extensions apply automatically to staff members whose assignments were due to end between March 20 and May 15 of this year. Even if an assignment has reached its maximum length, a 60-day extension will apply if it is legally allowed. In the internal document announcing the 60-day extensions, Google also noted that it regularly provides extensions to contractors whose temporary assignments last longer than the projected one-year term.
Over 150,000 individuals work for Google as independent contractors. This group has asked Google to take greater steps to protect their health, similar to steps taken to protect employees. During the early stages of the outbreak, Google told most of its full-time employees around the world to work from home, yet contractors reported that they were still required to work in an office. They felt uncomfortable with this situation and demanded better treatment in an internal memo. This may have contributed to the decision to grant the automatic extensions.
Google has taken additional measures to protect the health and security of its temporary staff during the coronavirus outbreak. It has created a fund to pay sick leave benefits to these staff members if they develop coronavirus symptoms, or if they are required to stay in a quarantine environment that prevents them from coming to a physical office.
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