(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – After the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued guidance mandating that call centers contracting with CMS force employees to work in-person, rather than telework, Congressman Jamie Raskin joined U.S. Representatives Mark Pocan (WI-02) and Jan Schakowsky (IL-09) in sending a letter to CMS Administrator Seema Verma demanding she reverse the policy.

CMS’ blanket guidance provides no pathway to creating teleworking opportunities for these essential workers and puts their lives at risk. Maximus, the company that CMS contracts with for these services, has already been forced to close call centers in Kentucky, Mississippi, and Louisiana due to COVID-19 outbreaks at the centers in these states.

In the letter, the Representatives call for remote work policies to be laid out, full paid sick leave and robust workplace safety policies.

The letter was endorsed by the Communications Workers of America and co-signed by Representatives Deb Haaland, Jesús G. “Chuy” García, Rashida Tlaib, Wm. Lacy Clay, André Carson, Alan Lowenthal, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Ilhan Omar, Darren Soto, Steven Horsford, Katherine Clark, Nydia M. Velázquez, Pramila Jayapal, Rosa DeLauro, Jared Huffman, Yvette D. Clarke, Tony Cárdenas, Peter A. DeFazio, Bill Pascrell, Jr., Linda T. Sánchez, Tim Ryan, Andy Levin, Joseph P. Kennedy, III, Joe Neguse, Bonnie Watson Coleman, Donald Norcross, James P. McGovern, Danny K. Davis, Emanuel Cleaver, II, Bill Foster, Elliot Engel, Daniel T. Kildee, Bennie G. Thompson, Paul D. Tonko, Jerrold Nadler, David N. Cicilline, Sheila Jackson Lee, Marcy Kaptur, Lucille Roybal-Allard, Bobby L. Rush, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

See the full letter here.