Google, Inc. Wage and Hour Class Action – $5.5 Million Settlement

Case name: Tymuoi Ha, et al. v. Google Inc. and Urpan Technologies, Inc.
Case type: Wage & Hour Class Action
Filed in: [Superior Court of California Santa Clara County]
Docket: [Case No. 116-cv-290847]

Case Summary

In January 2016, Sanford Heisler Sharp filed a class action lawsuit against Google and staffing agency Urpan Technologies, alleging failure to pay overtime wages, in violation of California labor codes. Plaintiff and class representative Tymuoi Ha also brought individual claims for wrongful termination and retaliation.

Google, through Urpan Technologies, had hired Plaintiffs as Contract Recruiters—i.e., to work as part of Google’s “world-class recruiting team”—on at-will, one-year contract assignments.

The Complaint alleged that, while Plaintiffs were treated as Google employees and expected to conform to all Google employment policies, Google and Urpan Technologies capped Plaintiffs’ hourly compensation at 40 hours a week while regularly requiring them to work more than eight hours per workday, and frequently on weekends, while depriving them of non-exempt overtime pay.

The Complaint further alleged that Defendants failed to keep accurate records of Plaintiffs’ working hours, failed to provide Plaintiffs with accurate itemized wage statements reflecting hours worked, and failed to immediately pay overtime wages upon Plaintiffs’ separation from their employment at Google.

Regarding Ms. Ha’s individual claims of wrongful termination and retaliation, the Complaint alleged that when Ms. Ha complained to her immediate supervisor at Google about Defendants’ failure to pay her and other Contract Recruiters their accrued overtime, Defendants retaliated by terminating her employment. Following this termination, according to the Complaint, Defendants acknowledged Ms. Ha’s unpaid overtime and permitted her to submit a report of hours worked, only to refuse to pay her in full.

Following the filing of the lawsuit, the parties exchanged extensive documents and data, retained experts to examine millions of timestamp entries, and engaged in negotiations regarding the merits of the claims and the scope of the class. Following mediation, the parties agreed to a preliminary settlement in which the Defendants would pay $5.5 million to settle the class claims on behalf of approximately 795 current and former contract workers who performed recruiting or sourcing work at Google. The Court granted final approval of the settlement in February 2018.