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Google Maps Workers Clash With Management Over Remote Work Policy

Contractors say they can’t bear the financial cost and health risks of returning to the office. But they don’t have the same leverage as full employees to seek exceptions. 

Some contract workers at a Google Maps office outside Seattle cite rising commuting costs as a major obstacle to returning to the office. 

Some contract workers at a Google Maps office outside Seattle cite rising commuting costs as a major obstacle to returning to the office. 

Photographer: Chona Kasinger/Bloomberg

Days after one of Google’s labor vendors told workers in a Seattle-area office that they would have to return to in-person office work by June 6, Shelby Hunter emailed the vendor’s human resources department to ask if he could have a medical exemption. He’d had four lung surgeries, and didn’t feel comfortable sitting in a maskless office after two years of working from home.

HR’s advice: Start looking for a new job.