United States District Court, D. Idaho
REGIS HARVEY, AMANDA COLLINS, ANDREA MCDONALD, Individually and On Behalf of All Others Similarly Situated, Plaintiff,
MAXIMUS INC., Defendant.
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER
Lynn Winmill Chief Judge
before the Court is plaintiffs Regis Harvey's, Amanda
Collins's, and Andrea McDonald's (collectively the
“Plaintiffs”) Motion to Certify Class. (Dkt. 28).
seek to certify a class to challenge MAXIMUS Inc.'s
hiring and firing of employees at their call center in Boise,
Idaho. MAXIMUS operated call centers in Boise, Idaho and
Brownsville, Texas to field calls regarding the Affordable
Care Act. (Dkt. 36 at 2). The Centers for Medicare &
Medicaid Services contracted with General Dynamics
Information Technology (“GDIT”), who in turn
contracted with MAXIMUS to operate these call centers.
Id. The subcontract became effective on April 15,
2013. Id. Hiring for the call center in Boise began
in summer 2013 with additional hiring extending into fall of
2013. Id. at 3.
hired three categories of employees to staff its Boise call
center. (Dkt 28-1 at 2). Customer Service Representatives
(“CSRs”) answered incoming calls. Id.
Trainers were responsible for training incoming CSRs and for
knowing company materials. Id. First-Level
Supervisors were responsible for a team of approximately 14
CSFs and monitored the CSRs' work product and
productivity. Id. Most Trainers were hired by
mid-June 2013. (Dkt. 36 at 5). Supervisors were hired by late
July 2013. Id. Maximus hired about 1, 800 CSRs in
waves, with the first wave beginning training in
mid-September 2013 and the second wave on October 1, 2013.
Id. MAXIMUS continued to hire CSRs throughout the
Fall of 2013. Id.
was employed by MAXIMUS as a Trainer and was hired in July
2013. Am. Compl. ¶ 13. Harvey had previously been
employed by Verizon for six years and left his job there to
work at MAXIMUS. Id. Collins was employed by MAXIMUS
as a CSR and was hired in July 2013. Id. ¶ 14.
She had previously worked at ITT Technical Institute as an
Instructor for four years and left that employment for the
job at MAXIMUS. Id. McDonald worked for Maximus as a
Supervisor and was hired in July 2013. Id. ¶
15. Prior to working at Maximus, McDonald had a custom
clothing and show company. Id.
hiring employees, Maximus sent every employee an offer
letter, which the Plaintiffs received. (Dkt. 36 at 9). The
letters contained language stating that the offer was one of
“full-time employment” and that Maximus believed
“this is an excellent career opportunity for you and
that we can offer you challenges to grow
professionally.” Id. The offer letters
contained an “Employment At-Will” clause.
Id. Offer letters to limited-service employees
stated, “We believe this will be an excellent career
choice offering an opportunity for professional
growth.” Id. Offer letters to Trainers and
Supervisors stated, “Your compensation in succeeding
years will be considered for adjustment as part of our normal
performance review process.” Id. Offer letters
to regular-capacity CSRs stated, “Your succeeding
compensation reviews and adjustments will be contingent on
the federally established annual Wage Determination rate for
your position and locality.” Id. Some
employees, including Collins, signed an “Employee
Acknowledgment Form” which contained language stating
that the employee recognizes that employment was at-will and
there was “no specific length of employment.”
Id. at 9-10.
addition to these written statements, Plaintiffs also allege
that oral promises were made to them. Am. Compl. ¶ 43.
Plaintiffs allege that that MAXIMUS told Plaintiffs that
regular capacity employees “would remain employed after
the first open enrollment period to service future enrollment
periods through the duration of the CCO contract.”
Id. Further, MAXIMUS allegedly told Plaintiffs
during hiring that “after the CCO contract they would
work on other projects for MAXIMUS.” Id.
August 2013, GDIT determined that the projected call volume
indicated a “ramp down” beginning in Spring of
2014 for the MAXIMUS Boise call center. Id. at 5.
According to MAXIMUS, it became apparent that a significant
reduction in employees would be necessary in Boise.
Id. However, MAXIMUS hired an addition 600 CSRs
after January 1, 2014 in temporary positions for a limited
duration because of the impending reduction in force.
Id. at 6.
April 25, 2015, MAXIMUS terminated 850 employees.
Id. MAXIMUS terminated 777 CSRs, 57 Supervisors, and
16 Trainers. Id. Of the 850 employees terminated,
199 of these were limited capacity CSRs. Id. The 651
regular-capacity employees were offered two weeks'
severance pay in exchange for a signed Separation Agreement
and Release. Id. Out of the employees offered the
severance pay, 526 employees signed a Separation Agreement.
Id. The Separation Agreement included a clause
releasing MAXIMUS of all claims, including those arising from
a class action lawsuit. Id.
bring claims for fraudulent misrepresentation and promissory
estoppel. Am. Compl. 12-15 (Dkt. 3). Plaintiffs allege that
MAXIMUS's hiring process promised Plaintiffs and the
proposed class members career employment when MAXIMUS had no
intention of retaining the new employees for long-term
employment. (Dkt. 28-1 at 3-4). Plaintiffs seek to certify a
class of all “similarly situated persons hired by
Maximus beginning in approximately June 2013 up until January
1, 2014, and were employed at its Boise call center as
[CSRs], Trainers, and First-Level Supervisors.”
Id. at 4.
Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, plaintiffs
must “affirmatively demonstrate” that class
certification is appropriate. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v.
Dukes, 564 U.S. 338, 350 (2011). Under Rule 23(a), the
Plaintiffs must show that: (1) the class is so numerous that
joinder of all members is impracticable; (2) there are
questions of law or fact common to the class; (3) the claims
or defenses of the representative parties are typical of the
claims or defenses of the class; and (4) the representative
parties will fairly and adequately protect the interests of
four requirements of 23(a) are designed to “[ensure]
that the named plaintiffs are appropriate representatives of
the class whose claims they wish to litigate.”
Id. at 349. This Court must, following a