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Google contractor accuses company of pay, overtime violations in lawsuit


(Reuters) — Google Inc. was sued this week by a worker who claimed the company did not pay overtime, improperly classified him as an independent contractor then terminated him after he asked for more hours to be covered under his contract.

The case, filed in a New York federal court on Wednesday, seeks to proceed as a collective action on behalf of other Google Inc workers.

A Google representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

How companies classify their workers has received increased attention. In August a federal appeals court in San Francisco ruled that FedEx drivers are employees under California law, not contractors. It is unclear how that ruling may impact the broader tech sector, though companies like car hire service Uber also consider their drivers to be independent contractors.

In the latest case against Google, plaintiff Jacob McPherson said he began work in 2013 at $35 per hour as a "site merchandiser for magazines" in the Google Play unit. He was classified as a freelancer and paid through an outside agency, the lawsuit said, although he worked in Google's New York offices.

Mr. McPherson was limited to billing 30 hours a week but worked more than that. Google declined to pay him for those extra hours, nor for any overtime over 40 hours a week. Google eventually terminated his contract after he asked for more hours to be covered in the contract, the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit alleges claims including violation of federal labor standards and damages.

The case in U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York is Jacob McPherson v. Google Inc. et al., 14-9026.

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