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HART office workers told to show up, despite mayor requesting people work from home when possible

Memo says all 800 workers considered essential
Posted: 5:10 PM, Mar 26, 2020
Updated: 2020-03-26 18:22:26-04
HART

TAMPA, Fla. — Tampa's mayor is asking anyone who can to work from home to avoid spreading coronavirus.

But the I-Team has learned that office workers for Hillsborough County’s transit agency are being told to show up for the job in person.

Public transportation is considered an essential service since it gets people to medical appointments, stores, pharmacies and work.

But among HART’s 800 employees, about 150 are office or administrative staff — not drivers or mechanics.

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HART Interim CEO Carolyn House Stewart sent an email Wednesday telling employees to keep showing up at the office.

She says administrative offices are “fully operational and remain open.”

HART Spokesperson Carson Chambers says the agency continues to request all office staff report to work until they hear otherwise from county or state officials.

“All HART employees contribute to the success of the agency. HART administrative employees continue to support the critical services that we provide that keep the community moving,” Chambers said.

She says office employees are practicing social distancing and frequent hand washing.

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Tampa Mayor Jane Castor, who recommends everyone who can work from home, sits on the HART Board of Directors.

In the memo, Stewart says HART is exploring alternative work options for its office staff and “HART is committed to equity in any employee policy that is implemented.”

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