NLRB Issues Decision in YouTube Music Workers Misclassification

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is coming to haunt Google’s YouTube Music for classifying some workers as contractors instead of employees.

The contractors “constitute a unit appropriate for the purpose of collective bargaining within the meaning of Section 9(b) of the Act.” The decision says that “Employees will vote whether or not they wish to be represented for purposes of collective bargaining by Alphabet Workers Union.”

It remains to be seen whether or not the decision (full PDF below), by NLRB National Director Timothy Watson, remains upheld. If upheld, negotiations will have to take place between Google and the union.

In recent Creator Economy Law newsletters, I’ve written about the contract workers, by way of Cognizant, at YouTube Music officially going on strike in coordination with the Alphabet Workers Union (AWU). The dispute stems from Google’s return-to-office requirement for operations in Austin, TX, which was seen as an anti-union move by the company.

🔥 Takeaway: Classification of workers matters, even when working with third-party agencies to hire contractors.

Axios has additional coverage (with responses from the AWU, Google and Cognizant).