Google Sued by U.S. for Declining to Disclose Compensation Data

  • Failure to comply may jeopardize contracts with government
  • Company allegedly refused to turn over information voluntarily

Google was sued by the U.S. Labor Department over its refusal to provide compensation data and documents as part of what the agency said is a routine compliance evaluation.

Google was asked in September 2015 to submit information about its equal opportunity program, and to provide supporting documents for a compliance review, the agency said in a statement. Google is required to let the government inspect records for an audit because it’s a federal contractor, the department said.

The complaint was filed with the department’s office of administrative law judges, according to the statement. Alphabet Inc.’s Google risks cancellation of its government contracts if it fails to comply, the department said.

“Despite many opportunities to produce this information voluntarily, Google has refused to do so,” OFCCP Acting Director Thomas M. Dowd said in the statement. “We filed this lawsuit so we can obtain the information we need to complete our evaluation.”

Google said it has provided hundreds of thousands of records to the agency over the last year, but a handful of government requests are “overbroad” or seek data about employees that is confidential.

“We’re very committed to our affirmative action obligations, and to improving the diversity of our workforce, and have been very vocal about the importance of these issues,” the company said in a statement.

The case is Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs v. Google, No. R00197955, U.S. Department of Labor Office of Administrative Law Judges.

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