The US Department of Labor is suing Google for details of its staff's wages – though the Chocolate Factory claims it's bending over backwards to comply with the bureaucrats' demands.
According to a legal complaint [PDF] filed on Wednesday, the DoL's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) sent Google a letter last September requesting details of its salary structure. The government beancounters want to make sure the internet billboard goliath is in compliance with presidential executive order 11246.
That order, enacted more than 50 years ago by President Lyndon Johnson, bars federal contractors from discriminating against staff on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, and authorizes the OFCCP to check up to make sure of it. The OFCCP is unhappy that it's not getting all the data it wants from Google.
"Like other federal contractors, Google has a legal obligation to provide relevant information requested in the course of a routine compliance evaluation," said OFCCP acting director Thomas Dowd.
"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."
The OFCCP said that Google had had nine months to turn over all of the information it requested on wages paid between September 2014 and 2015. It claims Google knew it would have to provide this data when it took on government contracts, such as its $600,000 deal with the General Services Administration, and should now pony up the data.
When The Reg prodded Google for an explanation, it said it had already handed over most of the data to the OFCCP but was simply unwilling to hand over some of the information requested because it compromised its employees' privacy.
"We've worked hard to comply with the OFCCP's current audit and have provided hundreds of thousands of records over the last year, including those related to compensation," a spokesperson said.
"However, the handful of OFCCP requests that are the subject of the complaint are overbroad in scope, or reveal confidential data, and we've made this clear to the OFCCP, to no avail. These requests include thousands of employees' private contact information which we safeguard rigorously." ®