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Google reportedly retracts offers to thousands of contract and temp workers

The search giant previously said it'd slow down its pace of hiring amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Google headquarters in Mountain View, California
Google headquarters sprawls across a large campus in Mountain View, California.
Stephen Shankland/CNET

Google has rescinded offers to more than 2,000 people who had agreed to work for the search giant as temporary or contract employees, according to a report Friday from The New York Times. Google reportedly told contracting agencies about its decision in an email last week that said it wouldn't "be moving forward to onboard" new starters.

Last month, Google CEO Sundar Pichai told employees that it will slow down its pace of hiring for the remainder of 2020, as the company deals with the economic downturn spurred by the coronavirus pandemic.

A Google spokesperson on Friday reiterated that the company isn't "bringing on as many new people – full-time and temporary – as we'd planned at the beginning of the year," but added at that search giant will continue to "hire in a number of strategic areas."

At least half of the tech giant's workforce are temporary employees, commonly known at the company as TVCs (temps, vendors and contractors). Google has taken some steps to protect these workers, saying in March it would continue to pay hourly workers like cooks and janitors even though the company's offices are closed. Google also said it extended the contracts of some TVCs whose projects were due to end around the time lockdowns started. 

Some people who had offers retracted agreed to work for Google before the coronavirus took hold in the US, according to the Times, and had their start dates repeatedly postponed. They reportedly weren't paid during this time and were let go without financial compensation.