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Google Hit With Worker Lawsuit

A Google Express driver is accusing the company of incorrectly treating her as a contractor, rather than an employee.

Google Hit With Worker Lawsuit
[Photo: Yngvadottir via Wikimedia Commons]

A week after Amazon’s delivery workers brought charges against the company, Google is facing a similar class action lawsuit filed by a driver for its same-day delivery service, Google Express. The case, filed last Friday in Massachusetts, argues that Google incorrectly classified driver Anna Coorey as a contractor instead of an employee, and that the company should compensate her for overtime pay and other expenses.

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Though she was hired by a third-party courier service, Coorey was expected to wear Google Express uniforms and work exclusively for Google during her shifts. She was also required to make every delivery that came her way, and could not decline to do so. Given these demands, Coorey’s team said that Google drivers should qualify as employees, as per Massachusetts law. Coorey’s allegations are nearly identical to the claims made by the delivery workers suing Amazon.

As Fast Company has previously reported, tech companies that rely heavily on contractors have repeatedly come under fire for supposedly misclassifying their workers. Uber, for example, has been sued by a slew of workers, and is now the target of a class action lawsuit in California–which, if successful, could feasibly upend Uber’s business model and reclassify tens of thousands of drivers as employees. On-demand cleaning services Handy and Homejoy have both faced a number of lawsuits, which in part led to the demise of the latter company. Some startups have already taken steps to shield themselves from further legal troubles: In June, grocery delivery service Instacart started to convert many of its workers to part-time employees.

The gig economy has even been a point of discussion for presidential candidates. During a speech at New York’s New School in July, Hillary Clinton noted that she would “crack down on bosses misclassifying workers as contractors” and that the rise of the on-demand economy is “raising hard questions about workplace protections and what a good job will look like in the future.”

[via Ars Technica]

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About the author

Pavithra Mohan is an assistant editor for Fast Company Digital. Her writing has previously been featured in Gizmodo and Popular Science magazine.

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