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N4T Investigators: Business as usual?

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TUCSON - A man who works in the information technology department at one of the city’s Tenet Healthcare hospitals, St. Joseph’s and St. Mary’s, was outraged last week when he received an email from a supervisor saying he had to work from the hospital.

“I was really surprised to find out that leadership was saying they don’t want us to work from home. People are dying,” the employee told the News 4 Tucson Investigators.

He doesn’t want to be identified due to fear of retribution. He’s one of the eight Information Technology workers employed by NTT Data, who work at the two hospitals.

The email he received said: “We are to conduct business as usual and there is to be no remote work done moving forward at this time. All staff is to come in at their regularly scheduled times and work onsite.”

The supervisor went on to say, “We did try and request a remote work schedule but the leadership would like all desktop technicians to be onsite to provide support during this critical time.”

The employee we spoke with is over 60 and says he has an underlying health condition. He was angry about the phrase in the email, “business as usual,” being used during the coronavirus pandemic.

“I just think how can they be so uncaring?" he said. "If their concern is people and people’s health and safety. How can they do that when everybody is telling you to avoid contact with people wherever possible?”

However, everything changed last Friday.

This was the day after we contacted a spokesperson for St. Mary’s and St. Joseph’s hospitals and told him we were reporting this story.

That’s when the company that employs the Information Technology workers, NTT Data, announced a policy change: Those employees now will be able to work from home, as of today. One technician will be required on-site.

The employee we interviewed had this reaction: “I am glad to see that management was able to do what was in the best interests of the employees and still meet the needs of the hospital.”

We checked with other hospitals within the area to see what their policies are.

Spokespersons for Banner and Tucson Medical Center said they have been allowing information technology employees to work from home since early last week.

If you have a story you’d like us to investigative, email us at or call our tip line at 520-955-4444.

Matthew Schwartz

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