Boise call center to lay off 1,600 workers in April

Statesman staffFebruary 24, 2014 

Kari Riedlinger uses a computer to take an assessment evaluation for Maximus during a job fair last year. Maximus sent a letter to employees this week advising them of coming layoffs.

KYLE GREEN — kgreen@idahostatesman.com

Maximus Inc., operator of a Boise call center that has held job fairs to hire workers as recently as Jan. 25, now says it will lay off most of its workers two months from now.

In a letter to employees Monday, the Virginia company said it will let 1,600 people go because the need for their services is waning. The workers were hired to handle phone calls from customers seeking health insurance across the United States under the federal exchange set up as part of the Affordable Care Act. The enrollment period under the act is ending.

Job losses will include customer service representatives, supervisors and trainers.

“Given the number of employees who must be let go, it is reasonable to expect your position ... will be eliminated on April 25,” the letter said.

Maximus set up the call center last year in a vacant building on the Hewlett-Packard campus in Boise off of West Chinden Boulevard. For its Jan. 25 job fair, Maximus described the positions as full-time jobs with a three-to-five month commitment and paying $11.17 an hour plus benefits.

In Monday's letter, the company said regular employees who are laid off will get at least two weeks of severance pay, but that policy does not apply to those hired on a "limited service capacity" — generally those hired after Jan. 1 this year.

The letter states the company hopes "to be able to ramp up again in the fall ... so there may be opportunities in the fall for a number of people who are laid off in April."

Laid-off workers also are eligible to apply for any other Maximus jobs that become available, the letter said.

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