A Google contractor has been accused of systematically underpaying workers.

The Verge reports that multiple contractors discovered that contractor Artech was paying them less than it told Google they were earning.

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– Sebastian Moss

Artech is a subcontractor that is hired via contractor Accenture, through the Accenture Flex program.

This system means that the workers are employed by Artech, while working for Google, in teams run by Accenture.

Accenture sets the pay rate for each role in a work order document before the hire is made. However, workers found that the rate on their pay stub was $5 to $10 lower per hour than the set rate.

“I found out they had been paying me $20 an hour, but they were telling Google they were paying me $30.08 an hour,” Guy Mylius told The Verge.

That discrepancy amounted to more than $10,000 over the length of the contract. Artech only paid the difference after the publication contacted them for a statement.

Contractors individually discovered similar pay differences, suggesting a more systematic problem.

"At this time Artech denies the allegations in their entirety," Artech general counsel Eric Szoke told The Verge.

While it is not suggested that Google was aware of the problem, or complicit in any wage theft, it has long been accused of using subcontractors to pay workers low wages, and give them fewer worker protections.

Last year it was revealed that Google illegally underpaid thousands of temporary workers in 16 countries, with more than $100 million thought to be owed.

Executives at the cloud and search giant were aware that Google was failing to comply with pay parity laws in the UK, Europe, and Asia since at least May 2019, and attempted a cover up.

A DCD investigation found multiple issues with its treatment of data center contractors, who are paid less than Googlers that work alongside them, and denied similar benefits.

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