Google gives temps 60-day contract extensions

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Google CEO Sundar Pichai speaks during the Google I/O keynote session at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, California on May 7, 2019.

Josh Edelson | AFP | Getty Images

Google’s temporary staff whose contracts were supposed to end during the height of the coronavirus pandemic, will now be extended an additional 60 days, CNBC has learned.

The company said contractors who had assignments scheduled to end during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic will be automatically extended two months, according to an internal document viewed by CNBC.

“During the normal course of business, many temporary assignments are extended beyond their initial one year engagement — these extensions will proceed as normal,” read the document “However, to support our temporary workforce during this unprecedented time, all temporary staff assignments that are scheduled to end from March 20, 2020, through May 15, 2020, will be automatically extended by 60 days from their original end date.”

This also includes assignments that have reached their maximum length, “where legally allowed,” the document stated.

Google didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

The latest measures come as Alphabet’s urges employees to stay motivated to run Google’s global infrastructure amid the coronavirus pandemic. It also comes as the company faces pressure from contract employees who have petitioned for better treatment amid the outbreak. More than half of Google’s 300,000-person workforce are contractors. 

Earlier this month, Google said it would be moving most of its global staff out of its offices so that employees can work from home. Google also said that it’s setting up a “COVID-19 fund” that will pay global temporary staff and vendors sick leave if they have potential symptoms of the virus or can’t come to work due to quarantine.

However, while the changes worked for full-time employees, contractors complained they were still being asked to come into the office. Last week, some temporary staff circulated an internal memo with a list of demands, calling for better protections for contract workers after many of them were still being asked to come into the office. 

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