Workers at Maximus Call Centers help Americans sign up for health care plans through federal programs like the Affordable Care Act’s health care exchanges and Medicaid yet the workers themselves can’t afford to see a doctor. 
Maximus, a federal Health and Human Services Contractor with a $6.6 billion nine-year contract, is exploiting its mostly women of color workforce, a direct violation of President Biden’s mandate that federal contractors pay their employees a living wage.
On November 9, the employees held a one-day strike to highlight their struggles and bring attention to their fight to unionize.
According to a report compiled by the Communications Workers of America (CWA), who is working with the employees to unionize, 91 percent of workers they surveyed earn less than $19 per hour, and 32 percent earn less than $17. Most—92 percent—of the workers said they are primary earners in their household.
The workers struck for minimum pay of $25 per hour, recognition of the union, and against Maximus’ continued labor law violations. 
Maximus has been found guilty of breaking labor laws at least once by the regional office of the Natinal Labor Relations Board and has additional complaints pending. They include retaliatory layoffs for speaking out about racial disparities and for union support, offering severance pay if workers shut up, and threats of firing and call center closures.
The workers are calling on Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Bacerra to step in and hold Maximus accountable. 
“While Maximus has nearly doubled its revenues in the past five years, some of the same workers who have made that growth possible report that they are unable to afford basic necessities. Most are paid wages that are not adequate to support their families and they are provided health insurance whose benefits are so poor that many must go into debt to afford healthcare. Maximus falls far short of providing the kind of federal contractor jobs that the Biden administration aspires to create. HHS Secretary Bacerra must investigate Maximus’ labor practices to determine whether it is fulfilling its obligations as a federal contractor.”