Mass. state workers rehired after COVID vaccine mandate firings are not being offered back pay reports that the nearly 50 former Massachusetts state workers who lost their jobs last year to Gov. Charlie Baker’s COVID-19 mandate should not expect guaranteed back pay if they accept the Commonwealth’s recent offers of reinstated employment.

The limited of former Executive Department employees — out of about 1,000 individuals who were fired or voluntarily resigned over Baker’s requirement — face an Oct. 31 deadline to decide whether they want to reclaim their old positions, according to letters obtained by MassLive this week. That includes a janitor and driver’s license examiner previously employed by MassDOT, but the Baker administration confirmed several other state agencies are seeking to recruit former workers, too.

The state government, at least for now, does not intend to offer compensation to workers spanning the time of their departures to their reinstated employment, MassLive reported.

Several MassDOT employees from different regional offices, who could not talk on the record due to the sensitivity of the information, indicated to MassLive they understood back pay or retroactive pay is not included in offers of reinstatement. Another employee who had no definitive knowledge on the matter was skeptical the Baker administration would provide back pay or other perks to entice former MassDOT workers.

The offers of reinstatement are “effective immediately” and unconditional, according to the letters, dated Oct. 18, from MassDOT Chief Human Resources Officer Matthew Knosp. The letters did not delve into HR parameters involving compensation, vacation time and promotions, among other matters.
By accepting this offer you are not required to dismiss or release any claims, lawsuits, charges or proceedings you have brought against MassDOT,” Knosp wrote in the letters, which were also signed by Julian Tynes, a MassDOT assistant secretary and chief diversity officer.
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