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Dane County supervisors raise questions with health officials over return to work of Epic employees

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3-13 Epic Systems

(UPDATE) -- The first set of Epic employees are set to start work on Monday, after the company announced employees will be returning to work in-person.

But some employees are worried it's all too soon.

After months of working from home, employees at Epic were told Monday to start getting ready to work in person again.

"My first thought was a confusion as to why we were coming back then," one employee said saturday. "Cases hadn't gotten better in dane county, they had if anything gotten worse."

This man has been at epic for 3 years and is now scheduled to return to the campus September 21st.

He's asked not to be identified for fear of retaliation from speaking out against the company's decision.

He says there's a lot of unknowns as to why this decision was made now, and he says communication between management and employees has not helped.

"I think a lot of employees feel attacked, they feel like they've been disrespected or talked down to and the overwhelming response has been negative," he said.

Dane County Supervisor Sarah Smith says she's received many concerned emails from employees about this decision.

That's why more than a dozen supervisors sent a letter to the public health department to get some some questions answered about the impact this reopening could have.

"This isn't a small company, this is 10 thousand people," Smith said. "So this isn't just a question of whether a small business can open or not and whether they're making the right decision, this impacts the entire county."

Earlier this week, Epic said working in person will help make their product better.

But this employee says working from home has been just as effective as in person.

"I think the thing that they failed to deliver to us is why the marginal benefits of meeting in person outweighs the tremendous risk to our health and safety," he said.

Supervisors say that's part of the reason they sent out the letter, asking that if employee's have been working from home for months, what has changed.

Epic said previously their campus is large enough to keep people socially distant, and they'll have safety measures in place that follow public health guidelines.

We reached out to epic for a comment specifically about the letter and a spokesperson said they were still working on a response.


MADISON (WKOW) -- After Epic Systems announced that it will require its 9,000-plus employees to stop working from home and return to its Verona campus starting on Monday, the Dane County Board of Supervisors is reaching out to Public Health Madison & Dane County (PHMDC).

In a letter posted to Facebook by District 19 Supervisor, Teran Peterson, the board asks several questions, including how many Epic employees have reached out to PHMDC with concerns about the plan, and what has changed at Epic Systems that makes it no longer possible for employees to continue working from home. That letter is signed by Peterson, along with several other District Supervisors. The board hasn't said if they've received a response from PHMDC at this time.

Read the full letter in the Facebook post below:

In response drafted by Dane County Supervisor, District 24 and Yogesh Chawla - Dane County Board District 6: August 7,...

Posted by Teran Peterson Dane County Supervisor, District 19 on Friday, August 7, 2020

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