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Google Maps Workers Clash With Management Over Remote Work Policy

Because of the remote work policy, a schism has developed between Google Maps employees and management. This came after Google’s labor vendor, Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp., informed employees in the Seattle-area office that they needed to return to work by June 6th.

Following this notification, a worker named Shelby Hunter emailed the HR department to request a medical exemption. He’d had four lung surgeries and was apprehensive about sitting in a maskless office after working from home for two years. The HR department responded by telling him to begin looking for a new job.

Shelby Hunter and his 200-plus coworkers are not employed by Google, but rather by its vendor, Cognizant. They are subject to Google’s broader push to return employees to their offices after a long absence.

Previously, over 120 Google Maps contract workers in the Bothell office signed a letter to the vendor company requesting that they be allowed to work from home.

A Cognizant spokesperson told news outlets that their policy for returning to work is based on a hybrid model and the number of days in office. The remote work policy, on the other hand, is based on the type of work employees do and the needs of their clients.

When asked about Shelby Hunter’s email exchange, the spokesperson called it a “mistake” and stated that they were actively discussing the accommodation request.

Hunter, on the other hand, claimed to have received a phone call from his site manager, who assured him that he would ‘look into it further.’

Aside from COVID-19, Cognizant employees expressed concerns about finding affordable child care and commuting on such short notice. Because of the area’s unaffordable housing, many workers were forced to relocate.

High gas prices, according to Hunter, put a financial strain on people, even for short trips. According to an April Gartner survey of executive leaders, commuting was at the top of employees’ concerns about returning to work.

The hourly rates for the Bothell office begin at $16, which is less than Google’s average salary of more than $120,000 but comparable to Seattle’s minimum wage of $17.27.

Mary Twiggs, a team member that attempts to address user-reported problems with Google Maps, stated that if nothing changes by June 6th, many people will be forced to quit.

This came after Google’s labor vendor, Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp., informed employees in the Seattle-area office that they needed to return to work by June 6th.

Following this notification, a worker named Shelby Hunter emailed the HR department to request a medical exemption. He’d had four lung surgeries and was apprehensive about sitting in a maskless office after working from home for two years. The HR department responded by telling him to begin looking for a new job.

Shelby Hunter and his 200-plus coworkers are not employed by Google, but rather by its vendor, Cognizant. They are subject to Google’s broader push to return employees to their offices after a long absence.

Previously, over 120 Google Maps contract workers in the Bothell office signed a letter to the vendor company requesting that they be allowed to work from home.

A Cognizant spokesperson told news outlets that their policy for returning to work is based on a hybrid model and the number of days in office. The remote work policy, on the other hand, is based on the type of work employees do and the needs of their clients.

When asked about Shelby Hunter’s email exchange, the spokesperson called it a “mistake” and stated that they were actively discussing the accommodation request.

Hunter, on the other hand, claimed to have received a phone call from his site manager, who assured him that he would ‘look into it further.’

Aside from COVID-19, Cognizant employees expressed concerns about finding affordable child care and commuting on such short notice. Because of the area’s unaffordable housing, many workers were forced to relocate.

High gas prices, according to Hunter, put a financial strain on people, even for short trips. According to an April Gartner survey of executive leaders, commuting was at the top of employees’ concerns about returning to work.

The hourly rates for the Bothell office begin at $16, which is less than Google’s average salary of more than $120,000 but comparable to Seattle’s minimum wage of $17.27.

Mary Twiggs, a team member that attempts to address user-reported problems with Google Maps, stated that if nothing changes by June 6th, many people will be forced to quit.

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