Just when cases are on the rise and the queues for testing for COVID-19 are growing across the US, Bloomberg has reported a new form of discrimination between full-time and contractual employees. It is reported that full-time employees at Google are offered high-quality instant COVID-19 tests.
What is ironical is that this perk is not available to the contractual employees of the Company, most of whom are still physically coming in to work at Google offices. The full-time Googlers, on the other hand, are mostly working from home and are able to access instant tests, when required, through Cue Health Inc. and able to get their results almost immediately, at home.
This is probably just another of the many perks that Google’s contract workers, vendors and temps are deprived while its permanent staff enjoy. The former lot does not get stocks as part of their compensation package either unlike their full-time counterparts, who number about 1,50,000. Interestingly, there are almost an equal number if not more of indirect employees including contractual staff at the Company.
The contract workers have access only to PCR tests through BioIQ, which they need to prepare and mail into a lab. Naturally, the results take a lot of time.
The on-roll Googlers working from home can access up to 20 of these costly high-quality tests in a month for themselves and their immediate family members via an internal portal. These tests are very accurate and capable of detecting even the smallest traces of genetic material of the virus.
Amidst the surge of cases in the US, testing kits have become expensive and the supply is unable to keep up with the demand. However, the Government has announced that it will make about 500 million free test kits available soon.
Google claims to have been offering these expensive testing options to its staff members with the objective of reducing the strain on public testing facilities.