On Wednesday, the U.S. Labor Department released a statement saying it had filed a lawsuit against Google Inc. (GOOG) since the company has failed to provide data and documents about employees at its Mountain View, California headquarters.
The information regarding Google's equal opportunity program was requested in September 2015 as part of a scheduled compliance review of federal contractors. The evaluation is conducted to ensure contractors do not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or status as a protected veteran.
“Like other federal contractors, Google has a legal obligation to provide relevant information requested in the course of a routine compliance evaluation,” said Thomas M. Dowd, the acting director of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, in the statement. “Despite many opportunities to produce this information voluntarily, Google has refused to do so. We filed this lawsuit so we can obtain the information we need to complete our evaluation.” (See also: Risks Associated With Government Contracts)
The DOL has asked the court to "cancel all of Google’s current government contracts and to debar the company from entering into future contracts" if it doesn't comply.
Google responded to the lawsuit in a statement of its own that called some of the Department's requests "overbroad" and involving confidential information about employees. “We’re very committed to our affirmative action obligations, and to improving the diversity of our workforce, and have been very vocal about the importance of these issues,” the company said.
Since 2008, Google has received $49 million in payments from contracts with federal agencies. A large portion of the work in the last two years had to do with advertising services. The Department of Health and Human Services paid the company $352,200 last year to place HealthCare.gov ads on third-party websites and Google search results.
While $49 million is a laughably small amount for a company like Google, annual government spending on the firm's services has been rising. (See also: 6 Largest Government Contractors)