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Google to require full benefits, health care for contract workers

Contract workers reportedly make up more than half of Google's workforce.

Google headquarters in Mountain View, California. 
Stephen Shankland/CNET

Google said Tuesday that it'll require temp companies that supply the search giant with temporary and contract workers to provide its staff with full benefits. Those benefits include health care, a $15 dollar minimum wage and paid parental leave.

The new policy will take effect starting next year, according to The Hill, which earlier reported the news.

The change comes the same day more than 900 Google workers reportedly signed a letter demanding better treatment of Google's extended workforce, commonly known at the company as TVCs (temps, vendors and contractors). The letter, from March 27, complained about Google shortening the contracts of several members of the Personality team for the Google Assistant, according to a report by The Guardian. The team comes up with the voice and tone of Google's digital helper software, a competitor to Amazon's Alexa and Apple's Siri.

The letter reportedly asserts that TVCs make up more than half of Google's workforce.

The decision to provide contractors with full benefits ultimately doesn't fall to Google; it's decided by the temp companies. But if the temp companies don't meet Google's requirements by the deadline, the search giant will have to re-evaluate the business relationship, according to The Hill.

News of the TVC letter comes a day after another protest by Google employees. On Monday, more than 1,000 Googlers signed a petition to remove a member of the company's newly formed council on artificial intelligence ethics for her alleged anti-trans and anti-immigrant views.