Construction workers on Google’s $600 million Oregon data center construction project didn’t get required rest times beyond their lunch breaks and their employer got slapped with a fine for it.
But don’t worry, this is not a case of Google breaking its promise not to be evil. The culprit was steel contractor LPR Construction, of Loveland, Colorado, hired for the project in the Dalles.
The state’s Bureau of Labor and Industries settled with the construction company accused of violating state wage and hour laws. LPR will pay a $20,000 fine after admitting the misdeed, Oregon Live reported.
The state suspended an additional $8,000 in fines, which LPR will face if it continues to break labor laws. As part of the settlement, the company also agreed to submit reports from all of its work sites in Oregon over the next three years.
A state investigation found 28 employees were not given proper breaks. The complaint was filed by an unnamed site visitor who claimed employees were working five to six days a week for 10-plus hours a day and were only given lunch breaks.
While generally speaking this is considered a normal work week in the tech world, sitting at a computer inside an air conditioned room that often comes with Doritos, Mountain Dew and several breaks is different from building steel structures in the high desert.
LPR worked on the project between December 2013 and February 2014. This is one of the state’s larger meal and rest period settlements in recent years.
The state’s wage and hour division typically receives about 1,300 meal and break complaints a year and 2,300 claims regarding unpaid wages, according to Oregon Live.
The Dalles Project is a two-story 164,000 square foot building that joined two single-story 94,000 square foot data centers.