Property company making changes after businesses complain about ‘safety pledge’

Property company making changes after Pittsburgh businesses complain about 'safety pledge'

PITTSBURGH — UPDATE 5/26: Industrious is changing its policy after backlash from multiple businesses at PPG Place in downtown Pittsburgh.

The company sent Channel 11 an updated health policy, which changed some of the privacy provisions.

The new policy says Industrious will not record or retain temperature readings, and it also eliminates a clause that said Industrious would be “sharing information with public health authorities.”

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Instead, officials added a clause that said data could be used to “alert others on the premises (that) they may have come into contact with someone with COVID-19.”

Since our report, Industrious said no one’s access is being revoked or restricted while these conversations continue.

At this point, both sides said they are still hoping to work this out, but Industrious confirmed that eventually if businesses don’t sign the “safety pledge,” they won’t be able to access their offices.

If that happens, at least one tenant told Channel 11 she would think about taking legal action.

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The access card that Elite Casino Events owner Dawn Takacs uses to get into her office at PPG Place was deactivated. After three years with her downtown office, she told Channel 11 she was blindsided when her property management company sent her and other businesses a “safety pledge.”

“This is just a violation of our constitutional rights, you're stepping over the line,” Takacs said. “It’s crossed the line between business and personal.”

The safety pledge said she and her guests would be required to sign it before being allowed on the premises. It would also require her to do things like social distance, wear masks and even have her temperature taken.

Takacs told Channel 11 she was fine with those requirements, but then it said they would also collect her personal health information – which she said crosses a line.

Takacs said she wants to be safe but still believes this goes too far.

“I absolutely love my office and want to keep it, but you’re asking me to keep my office or give up my rights,” she said. “I find that un-American, for lack of a better word.”

Industrious is one of the largest property management companies in the country, with 95 locations in 45 cities.

The company’s general manager for North America told Channel 11 its policy is to require businesses to sign the safety pledge.

“We are requiring it, much as the building itself is requiring it and every community is thinking about it to keep tenants healthy and safe,” said Anna Squires Levine. “While I understand this may not work for everyone, we have heard that community behavior is the number one concern for our members.”

‘I find that un-American’: Local woman says building’s ‘safety pledge’ crosses a line