Maximus Purchase FAQ
GDIT has sold its call center operations to Maximus. Maximus is a Virginia-based global company that specializes in providing government services, such as call center operations, to federal, state, and local governments.
Employees are questioning how this shift in operations will affect individual workers and the union movement for improved working conditions at Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) call centers nationwide.
What We Know Right Now:
- There has been no indication that Maximus plans to move or close any of the current GDIT call center locations.
- Maximus cannot relocate any of the current call center facilities without first seeking and receiving approval from CMS.
- Maximus employees have joined together in unions in other countries, so Maximus is familiar with negotiating with their employees over improved working conditions. However, no current Maximus U.S. employees are organized in a union yet.
- The sale to Maximus shouldn’t affect our Department of Labor (DOL) complaints or change DOL's investigation into misclassification under the Service Contract Act.
- If DOL finds wage theft at the call centers, DOL has the power to recover the underpayments from the appropriate entity--whether GDIT, Maximus, or both companies.
Q & As:
Answer: Some people have been confused about the information the company put out recently on their 401k plan. Many interpreted the email to mean that if we have a union then we would be ineligible to participate. This is not the case. If we have formal recognition of our union, the company would then be obligated to bargain with us for improved pay and benefits including a retirement plan that makes the most sense for us and our families. Until then, we only have the choice of participating in the employer plan being offered to us.
Question:Maximus says that "GDIT will cash out any accrued, but unused vacation hours" for SCA-covered employees "after the Maximus transition is closed." But I wanted to use my accrued vacation hours to take off next year. Is GDIT's vacation cash-out legal?
Answer: Unfortunately, yes. Department of Labor regulations suggests that employers can pay cash in lieu of vacation. In its November 2 welcome letter, MAXIMUS stated that you will be able to take vacation time in advance of receiving your annual PTO block grant, up to 16 hours through May 31, 2019.
Question:I know GDIT says they are paying us out for our vacation benefits that have already vested. But when will we accrue vacation benefits in the future after Maximus takes over?
Answer: Department of Labor regulations say that when a new employer steps into the shoes of a previous employer and takes over a federal service contract, the employees working on that contract keep the same anniversary date of employment for purposes of accruing their vacation benefits. For example, if an employee was hired on December 15, 2017 by GDIT and worked continuously on the CCO Contract, that employee's first anniversary date for accruing vacation would be December 15, 2018--even if Maximus is his or her new employer at that time.
This is consistent with MAXIMUS’ November 2 welcome letter, which stated that “[a]fter you transition and following your anniversary date with the contract, you will receive your full annual PTO block grant.”
Question: I have an FMLA accommodation with GDIT. I heard that I am only eligible for time off under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) after I have worked for a company for a year. Do I have to work for a year for Maximus before becoming eligible for time off under the FMLA?
Answer: Department of Labor regulations say that when a new employer steps into the shoes of an old one without changes in operations, facilities, working conditions and the like, FMLA entitlements will carry over as if it were continuous employment by a single employer. This is consistent with MAXIMUS’s statement its “GDIT Integration Day 1” document that it is “crediting your service time from GDIT so your FMLA eligibility will remain the same.”
Question: What is a Confidentiality and Restrictive Covenant (C&RC) agreement? Can my eligibility for promotion or severance be tied to signing such an agreement?
Answer: We have some questions about that too and the legality of such an agreement, especially if the intention is to try to discourage MAXIMUS employees from speaking out about their working conditions. Some confidentiality agreements have been found unlawful by the National Labor Relations Board. If it does not jeopardize your future employment, we recommend that you ask for a copy to review and some time to consider what its implications are before signing it. After the agreement is distributed to employees and CWA’s attorneys have an opportunity to review it, we will share additional information.
Question: Will we continue to organize for fair pay and a union now that our employer is changing from GDIT to MAXIMUS?
Answer: You bet! We have a powerful growing network of hundreds of union supporters. We will continue to organize and speak out about our working conditions until our employer agrees to recognize our voice and bargain with us over improving pay and benefits.
If you have any other questions about the transition please don’t hesitate to write-in to CallCenterWorkers@cwa-union.orgWe will be updating this page as we get more information. Feel free to email us if you have questions or concerns: CallCenterWorkers@cwa-union.org
With our allies on Capitol Hill and local elected leaders, we will continue to stand together to make sure that all CMS call center workers are treated with dignity and respect. While we may not have control over who owns CMS call center operations (and we know that many of you have lived through a change in ownership at your call centers in the past), we do have control over how we react. We will remain united in our efforts to advocate for one another, for a union and for fair pay for all.