Indiana staffing agency seeks $10M from state vendor in suit

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A minority-owned staffing agency based in Batesville has filed a lawsuit in Marion County against a New Jersey-based company that alleges the out-of-state firm owes it $10 million related to a contract with the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration.

CFA Inc., a certified female minority-owned company owned by Teresa Wade, a Black entrepreneur, filed the complaint for damages against Conduent State & Local Solutions, which provides business services such as medical billing, patient support services, Medicaid screening and prepaid card processing for government benefits.

The complaint filed July 27 in Marion County Superior Court 2 stems from a contract Conduent signed in December 2018 with the IFSSA, which was awarded to the company in part because it included a plan to work with a minority-owned business, according to the lawsuit.

As part of the agreement, Conduent agreed to commit 15% of its proceeds to CFA. While the contract was non-exclusive, Conduent agreed to provide CFA with 30 days notice if it chose to work with another vendor, the suit says.

Since Jan. 1, 2019, CFA has provided recruiting and staffing services to Conduent at service centers throughout Indiana, including Beech Grove. During this time, IFSSA paid Conduent no less than $188 million, according to the lawsuit, 15% percent of which is about $28.8 million.

CFA alleges that it has been paid only $18.6 million, leaving a $10 million shortfall.

The firm also alleges that Conduent performed recruiting services itself, had them performed by a non-minority owned business, or both, “in violation of the contract and Indiana law,” according to court records.

On Tuesday, Conduent filed a request to move the case to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.

In a statement, the company said CFA’s claims are “completely meritless,” noting that it engaged CFA in three other states for six additional government programs where minority participation was not required, which resulted in CFA receiving more than $13 million in revenue.

“Conduent has a strong history of supporting minority and women-owned businesses, including a 15-year relationship with CFA, to provide historically underutilized entities with opportunities to participate in government contracts and to help states open business doors to all,” Conduent said the statement.

Conduent State & Local Solutions is a unit of Conduent Inc., an American business services provider headquartered in Florham Park, New Jersey, with over 31,000 employees working in 22 countries. It was formed in 2017 as a divestiture from Xerox. The company, which had revenue of more than $4.4 billion in 2021, offers digital platforms for businesses and governments.

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