The US Labor Department is trying to bar Google from doing business with the federal government unless the internet company turns over confidential information about thousands of its employees, the AP reports. The potential banishment is being sought in a Labor Department lawsuit filed Wednesday with the Office of Administrative Law Judges. The complaint alleges that Google has repeatedly refused to provide the Labor Department with employee compensation records and other information as part of an audit designed to ensure the company isn't discriminating against workers based on gender or race. The review of how Google pays the thousands of workers at its Mountain View, Calif., headquarters is allowed under decades-old laws regulating US government contractors.
Google has struck a series of deals with various federal agencies during the past decade, including a digital advertising agreement cited by the Labor Department that has generated more than $600,000 for the company since June 2014, per the complaint. That amount is a pittance for Google, whose revenue has surpassed $130 billion during the same span. If Google doesn't comply with all its demands, the Labor Department wants a legal order that would void all Google's current government contracts and block future deals. In a statement, Google said it has provided hundreds of thousands of records in an attempt to comply with the Labor Department, but has rebuffed some demands as "overbroad" and an invasion of employee privacy. Like most other big tech companies, Google for the past few years has posted breakdowns of its workforce that show most of its computer programmers and other high-paid employees in technical jobs are white and Asian men. (Read more Google stories.)