Workers at Nancy Pelosi Federal Building in San Francisco told to work from home due to crime

The memo was issued the same day the White House urged Cabinet members to "aggressively" urge staffers to return to in-person work.

Published: August 16, 2023 9:22am

Updated: August 16, 2023 9:57am

The Department of Health and Human Services is telling hundreds of California-based employees to work from home for the foreseeable future due to rising crime in the area surrounding the Nancy Pelosi Federal Building in San Francisco.

The 18-story building also houses the Labor and Transportation separtment and the office of former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

HHS Assistant Secretary for Administration Cheryl Campbell advised employees to stay home in a memo to regional leaders earlier this month, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

"In light of the conditions at the (Federal Building) we recommend employees … maximize the use of telework for the foreseeable future," she wrote in the memo.

"This recommendation should be extended to all Region IX employees, including those not currently utilizing telework flexibilities," Campbell also wrote, referring to the federal zone that encompasses California and other Western states.

The memo was issued on the same day that White House chief of staff Jeff Zients wrote an email to the Cabinet calling for members to "aggressively" urge staffers to return to in-person work "to deliver better results for the American people," according to Axios.

It is unclear whether other agencies in the building issued similar orders. Officials with the Labor Department and Pelosi's office said they are working closely with law enforcement to ensure safety, but they have not issued a work-from-home advisory.

The newspaper also reports that dozens of drug dealers work in shifts near the building, as buyers use their newly-purchased drugs and that the benches on the property are popular for people to use drugs or socialize.

Data from the San Francisco Police Department shows that homicides and robberies in 2023 have increased more than 10% from this time last year in the city.

Follow Madeleine Hubbard on Twitter or Instagram.

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