Epic has paused its phased return for its 10,000 employees until January 2021.
In a Wednesday, Aug. 12, email from chief executive officer Judy Faulkner to employees of the Verona-based health software company, she wrote they are able to work from home until “at least the new year,” as tweeted in a screen shot by a Capital Times reporter.
When that time comes, she wrote, employees will receive a month’s notice before they are to return to the 1,000 acre campus.
“Through the end of the year, parents will continue to have … flexible schedule options.” Faulkner wrote. “For those who wish to come in, you are welcome to join us on campus.”
The pause came after Public Health Madison and Dane County officials and Dane County Board members inquired about Epic’s first reopening plan – reported in June – to have staff return Monday, Aug. 10.
Epic later postponed its reopening, then set its date for Sept. 21.
Prior to that, the Capital Times interviewed 26 employees for an Aug. 5 report, and half of them said they were aware of managers being demoted for expressing concerns about reopening.
An Aug. 7 letter from county supervisors asked PHMDC how Epic’s plans will help Dane County flatten the curve, what has changed in Epic’s situation since its employees began remote work that they are no longer able to facilitate that arrangement and how involved PHMDC has been in helping the company develop its reopening plan.
An Aug. 9 email to the Press from Sverre Roang, Epic’s chief administrative officer, states individual offices will be available for people who would like them, masks are required and the 1,000-acre campus supports physical distancing protocols for employees who feel ready to return.
The email also states staff who opt for in-person work will receive daily health screens for COVID-19 symptoms, have access to more public transportation options, be able to sit in reduced capacity conference rooms and work inside a well-ventilated and sanitized work area.
“The coming months will continue to be a critical time for our customers,” Faulkner wrote in her company wide email, as reported by the Cap Times. “For the safety of our staff and our community, we’ll monitor the number of people on campus and limit if needed.”
Faulkner acknowledged COVID-19 “is challenging.”
“Infectious disease consultants told us that many companies, like ours, have had to revise their plans multiple times,” she wrote. “We appreciate the constructive feedback from many of you. We believe that in-person collaboration is important, and we look forward to a time when we can all be together again.”