Google May Get Barred From Government Contracts

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The U.S. Labor Department is attempting to bar Google from doing business with the federal government unless it turns over confidential information about its employees. This potential prohibition is being sought in a Labor Department lawsuit that was filed with the Office of Administrative Law Judges on Wednesday.

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Google may lose federal government contracts

The Labor Department alleges in its lawsuit that Google has refused to provide records of employee compensation and other information as part of an audit that is designed to make sure the search giant is not discriminating against workers based on race or gender. Under decades-old laws regulating U.S. government contractors, the review of how the search giant pays the thousands of its employees at its California headquarters is allowed, notes ABC News.

The Labor Department wants a legal order that would block all future deals and void all of Google’s current federal government contracts if the tech company does not comply with its demands.

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In a statement, the search giant said it had provided hundreds of thousands of records in an attempt to comply with the Labor Department’s requests. However, the tech giant also rebuffed some of the agency’s demands as “overboard” and an invasion of its employees’ privacy, notes ABC News.

Why is Google unable to furnish routine documents?

The Labor Department requested the information on employee job histories, their compensation, contacts and other similar information in June 2016. All companies that accept contracts with the government have to give these routine documents.

Thomas Dowd, acting director of the Labor Department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, said the tech giant, like other federal contractors, has a legal obligation to provide relevant information requested in the course of a routine compliance evaluation.

According to the complaint, during the past decade, Google has struck several deals with many federal government agencies, including a digital advertising agreement that has generated more than $600,000 for it since June 2014. That amount is nothing for the tech giant, whose revenue was more than $130 billion during the same time frame.

It is still a mystery why a company like Google, which pulls in around $80 billion in annual revenue, is going to war with the Labor Department over a routine government request. Is there something the tech giant does not want the Feds to know about? Is it unable to pull together a quick spreadsheet? Or is the U.S. government’s contract too small for the ad giant to even bother with?

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Aman is MBA (Finance) with an experience on both Marketing and Finance side. He has worked as a Risk Analyst for AIR Worldwide, and is currently leading VeRa FinServ, a Financial Research firm. Favorite pastimes include watching science fiction movies, reviewing tech gadgets, playing PC games and cricket. - Email him at amanjain@valuewalk.com
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