Posted January 27th, 2016.
A former recruiter for Google Inc. is accusing the tech giant and one of its staffing agencies of unlawfully encouraging its legions of recruiters to work long hours without overtime pay.
Tymuoi Ha was hired by Sunnyvale’s Urpan Technologies Inc., a recruiting firm with offices in India and California, and assigned to work full-time at Google headquarters, according to a suit filed Wednesday in Santa Clara County Superior Court. Ha, who is represented by lawyers at Sanford Heisler Kimpel, says she was fired after complaining about unpaid overtime.
The suit charges that Google and Urpan Technologies capped the amount of overtime that recruiters could be paid and instructed workers not to report hours that exceeded those limits. At the same time, the suit alleges, it was commonplace for contract recruiters to work 12-hour days and to work on weekends.
“As a result of its unlawful and unfair acts, defendants have reaped and continue to reap unfair benefits and illegal profits,” the suit asserts.
Managers incentivized employees including Ha to work long hours by telling them their engagements with Google could be extended or made permanent if they were successful, Ha’s lawyers claim.
“The only way they could actually perform their job, actually make the metrics, was to work long hours,” said Sanford Heisler partner Michael Palmer. He estimated that the potential class of contract recruiters exceeds 1,000 individuals. The suit seeks unpaid overtime wages and penalties, punitive damages and a court order requiring the companies to comply with the California Labor Code.
Google did not respond to an email inquiry on Wednesday. An individual who answered the phone at Urpan Tech said the company was not aware of the suit.
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