As Epic Systems continues with plans to return staff to its Verona campus amid the COVID-19 pandemic, employees there said the leaders of the medical record software company have largely dismissed their concerns, stifled dissent and retaliated against some managers, fostering an atmosphere of fear.
The Cap Times corresponded with 26 employees Tuesday, at least 13 of whom said they have knowledge of managers being demoted for expressing concern about the company’s plans to bring its nearly 10,000 workers back to its 1,000-acre campus starting next week. Every employee who spoke with the Cap Times requested anonymity for fear of retribution, some specifically citing the demotions.The retaliation, several employees said, is a part of an ongoing effort to control and monitor staff dissent and responses to management decisions, including removing critical posts from an internal company web page and failing to provide data or details about what is driving decisions.
Company leaders have defended the plans, saying that having employees working in-person on campus is integral to cultivating the culture necessary to produce software. They are requiring employees to return in phases, starting next week and continuing through September, with some employees allowed to delay their return until Nov. 2. Employees who do not comply have been told they must take an unpaid leave of absence or could be fired.
Epic is owned by one of the biggest leftists in the state and her company’s culture enforces a rigid liberal orthodoxy. Now that Epic’s employees are pushing back against going to work, Faulkner appears to be using retaliatory and bully tactics to silence dissent and force the workers back to their desks. And most of Wisconsin’s liberal politicians will stay silent on the abuse because Faulkner is a major Democratic insider.