Read the report, "Calling for Justice: Racial Inequity at the Largest Federal Call Center Contractor"
A new report released by Communications Workers of America (CWA), NAACP, and the Strategic Organizing Center exposes significant racial inequities at Maximus, one of the federal government’s largest service contractors.
The new report, analyzing newly-released reports on workforce demographics and including additional insights from frontline workers, reveals that while white men make up only 9% of frontline workers, they account for nearly 50% of Maximus’ executives, whereas Black and Latina women make up almost 50% of frontline workers but account for only 5% of executives.
The report, which was featured in the Washington Post, also shows that Maximus granted bonuses over two years totaling $1.4 million to its all-white executive team tied to diversity and engagement efforts.
In light of the Biden administration's multiple executive orders calling for racial equity throughout the federal government, CWA and the NAACP have issued a letter calling on the Biden administration to take action and investigate racial disparities and potential obstacles to equal employment opportunities at Maximus.
“Workers at Maximus have been organizing with CWA to fight for living wages, affordable healthcare, fair treatment, and a voice on the job. Black women workers, who make up a significant portion of the workforce at the largest Maximus call centers, have been courageously leading this fight and raising the alarm about the lack of equity. We are proud to stand with them,” said CWA President Chris Shelton. “In the last year alone, Maximus CEO Bruce Caswell received over $200,000 in bonuses tied to diversity metrics. This is insulting to Maximus workers who, despite their efforts to move up in the company, continue to be held at the bottom of the corporate ladder with no hope of meaningful advancement. It’s long past time we hold this federal contractor accountable and ensure that all workers at Maximus, regardless of race or background, are given the respect and opportunities they deserve.”
"Federal contractors, such as Maximus, are intended to provide good jobs and equal opportunities for people in our communities,” said Representative Bennie Thompson (D-MS). “For years, Maximus workers in Mississippi, primarily Black women, have had to fight for better working conditions while trying to make ends meet on low wages and unaffordable healthcare. Rather than investing in its front-line workers, Maximus is lavishing multi-million dollar bonuses on its executives. If we are serious about racial justice in federal contracting, the Biden Administration must investigate the unacceptable disparities at Maximus."
“Maximus’ practices of deep-rooted inequity are entirely unacceptable. For far too long, Black workers, particularly Black women, have been shut out of economic progress by powerful corporations like Maximus, preventing us from attaining the positions of power and economic freedom we deserve,” said NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson. “It’s about time the federal government used its power to enforce the highest standards of fairness and equity while holding corporations accountable for denying employees of color the opportunity to advance their careers. We’re proud to join our allies at CWA to release this report and call on the Biden Administration to conduct a full and thorough investigation of Maximus’ hiring, training, promotion, and retention practices to ensure their Black employees are given every opportunity to thrive.”
“Frontline workers at Maximus show up every single day to ensure that people all over our nation get the help and answers they need to feel heard and supported,” said Katrina Berry, a call center worker at Maximus. “The fact that I’ve been unable to advance in my career, after nine years at the company, is unacceptable. Despite Maximus’ claims that they’re cultivating a diverse workplace, their promotion and hiring processes have done quite the opposite, holding Black workers back at every turn. We need meaningful change now, and we are counting on the Biden administration to immediately investigate Maximus’ employment practices.”