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Google Employees in the US can now take Free Weekly Covid-19 TestsGoogle has started offering free at-home Covid-19 tests to its employees in the United States. The recent move came to provide grand benefits to its valuable employees. Google is partnering with an Atlanta-based health care vendor BioIQ to distribute the kits. So, the coronavirus tests for Google workers are available through BioIQ. Full-time staff and interns can take two tests per week. Google’s spokesperson said the company has now offered the program to its 90,000 employees in the US and it will be expanded globally. They can order the tests through BioIQ’s website. The health care vendor will then collect PCR-based nasal swab tests to send off to labs for the process. Google also confirmed that the testing is encouraged, but not required. The move came after the US government started to administer the first doses of the Covid-19 vaccine.

Point to be noted that there are still several counties in Google’s home state of California under stay-at-home orders because health officials have warned about the capacity of hospitals. Google is one of the first major companies to allow employee base work from home when the pandemic took hold earlier this year. The company is also considering a new model for the workweek post-pandemic. The pilot plan would have people work in the office for at least three days while working the other days remotely. The tech giant pioneered several fancy perks that became the norm in Silicon Valley, including free food and gym service on campus. It is noteworthy that Google CEO Sundar Pichai said in May that the company will allow employees to expense up to $1,000 for equipment and furniture in their home offices.

It is important that Google is currently experiencing a few antitrust lawsuits. At least 3 US states including Utah, North Carolina, and New York are looking into the fees the company gets from in-app purchases and subscriptions. Google takes a 30% cut from Play Store subscriptions and in-app purchases, and the commission drops to 15% after the first year for subscriptions. The app store commission rates of the tech giant are a major point of contention between them and developers. Epic sued both Google and Apple just a few months ago, for removing Fortnite from their app stores. The lawsuit says they were offering users a way to purchase items directly from the developer at a lower price. Google said Android developers don’t have to publish on the Play Store if they don’t want to pay its fees.

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