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Google Faces Flak for Underpaying Temporary Employees
According to the latest available estimates published in a New York Times report in 2019, Google has more than 121,000 temporary employees.
As per a whistleblower complaint, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the pay gap between temporary and full-time workers doing similar work has only got bigger over the recent past.
Documents accessed by the Guardian and New York Times expose a deeper problem.
These documents show that instead of addressing the issue with immediate effect for all temporary employees, Google has only done a rate correction for new hires.
By continuing to pay outdated rates, Google’s dues have now accumulated to an amount of more than $100 million.
This includes amounts of back pay owed in more than 16 countries for the last nine years.
It would be crucial to note here that while the US does not require companies to mandatorily pay temporary works the same rate as their full-time employees, more than 30 countries across several continents have pay-parity laws.
Iceland-Based Crowberry Capital Launches Fund Aimed At Nordic Startups
Crowberry Capital operates in Reykjavik and Copenhagen. Recently it launched Crowberry II. Crowberry II is a $90 million seed and early-stage fund that aims to back Nordic region startups.
European Investment Fund leads the pack of LPs on the fund and has put in 20 million euros from the EU’s ‘InnovFin Equity’ program.
Other LPs include Icelandic Pension Funds and several other family offices and angel investors. The list also includes David Helgason, the founder of Unity Technologies.
Crowberry II aims to become the largest VC fund in Iceland. It is a fully women-led fund. The three of its co-founders are Hekla Arnardottir, Helga Valfells and Jenny Ruth Hrafnsdottir.
Microsoft Acquires TakeLessons
Microsoft has acquired Takelessons. It is a platform for students to connect with individual tutors. The tutors could belong to areas like music, language, and other academic subjects and professional training.
While students can connect to tutors through the platform, the tutors can also leverage the platform to book and organize their lessons, online and in person.
The platform raised $20 million from a host of VCs and individuals, including Lightbank, Uncork Capital, Crosslink Capital, and others.
Although the amount raised by TakeLessons might appear small in relation to similar platforms like GoStudent that raised $244 million, the platform comes with benefits for Microsoft to leverage.
It gives Microsoft the infrastructure it needs to set up a much more aggressive play in mass-market online education.
Whatsapp Allows Full Encryption for Backup Messages
More than 2 billion WhatsApp users can now fully encrypt their message backups. The users going for these encrypted backups would be asked to save a 64-digit encryption key.
Otherwise, they can create a password that would remain tied to the key. If a user creates a password tied to their account’s encryption key, the service will now store the associated key in a physical hardware security module, or HSM.
Facebook will maintain the HSM and it can only be unlocked by entering the correct password in Whatsapp.
With this provision, Whatsapp becomes the first global messaging service to offer end-to-end encryption for a userbase of this scale.
AROUND THE WEB
? Google Gets Dark Mode: The search giant is finally introducing an official dark mode on its search engine on desktops.
? OpenSea Down After Record Surge: OpenSea, the globally revered NFT platform has finally experienced a decline in sales volume after crossing the record mark of $4B in August.