Member Alerts

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Workplace Safety Practices:

IMPORTANT: The workplace safety practices and other references linked below should be referenced as the current source of information related to Foth’s COVID-19 safety practices.

NOTE: Items with an * need Foth network access.

Member Voluntary Attestation of COVID Vaccination.  Members wishing to voluntarily attest to being fully vaccinated can do so by completing the attestation in Dayforce.  Go to Dayforce > Forms > Acknowledgements > Voluntary Attestation of COVID Vaccination (read the attestation carefully and then click Submit).

Field Safety: Job Hazard Analysis COVID-19 (for field work)* (Word doc)


CDC COVID-19 Data Tracker
CDC Spread Risk vs Foth Office Locations (updated 1/21/22)

Foth Business Travel Advisory

Reviewed 1/21/2022

The COVID-19 outbreak in the United States is a rapidly evolving situation. The status of the outbreak varies by location and state and local authorities are updating their guidance frequently. The White House’s Opening Up America Again plan means some parts of the country may have different guidance than other areas. Check with the state or local authorities where you are, along your route, and at your planned destination to learn about local circumstances and any restrictions that may be in place.

If you have business travel planned, please contact your RCM for further discussion.


Below are the most recent COVID-19 member alert messages:

January 14, 2022

OSHA Vaccine Mandate Blocked by Supreme Court, and Resulting Updates to Foth’s Workplace Safety Practices

Hello Foth members,

As you might have heard, yesterday afternoon the US Supreme Court blocked the federal vaccination mandate for large employers (referenced in our prior communications as the OSHA ETS).

To quote a line from The Princess Bride, we believe the ETS is now “mostly dead.” It might not be “all dead” as it could be resurrected through another federal agency or in another form.

What does this mean for Foth and our Workplace Safety Practices?  We are repealing practices that we were planning to put in place solely to comply with the ETS.  However, we are retaining some enhanced practices due to the risks posed by the current Omicron surge.  Please see below for a detailed outline.  Please be sure to thoroughly review the Workplace Safety Practices document which has again been updated accordingly.

WORKPLACE SAFETY PRACTICES UPDATES/REMINDERS  

  • Vaccination Practices
    • Since the OSHA ETS is now blocked, we will no longer be requiring members to complete a vaccination record in Dayforce.
    • Foth will continue to encourage members to be up-to-date with their COVID-19 vaccinations.  However, we will no longer be providing company paid time off to receive or recover from a COVID-19 vaccination.
    • Members who wish to voluntarily disclose their vaccination status can continue to do so, but it is not required.
    • Member vaccination records completed to date will be maintained, securely within Dayforce.  We are doing this because it is still possible for the ETS to be resurrected, with similar reporting requirements.
    • When we move past the Omicron surge, and can once again implement relaxed Workplace Safety Practices, members who are up-to-date with their COVID-19 vaccinations, and have disclosed the same via a vaccination record in Dayforce, will be able to follow the relaxed practices.
    • Please note that clients, suppliers, or other third parties may still require vaccination for site entry or travel.
  • Testing Practices
    • Since the OSHA ETS is now blocked, we will not require any members to test prior to office entry (unless required per our illness protocol).
    • Please note that clients, suppliers, or other third parties may still require testing for site entry or travel.
  • Face Coverings and Social Distancing Practices
    • We will continue our enhanced precautions in light of the continued risks posed by the Omicron surge.  These are outlined below and in our Workplace Safety Practices.
    • For at least the duration of the Omicron surge, all members will continue to be required to wear face coverings and socially distance when in the workplace.
      • This means that:
        • Ridesharing is not allowable, regardless of vaccination/booster status.
        • Everyone needs to wear a face covering and stay socially distanced in conference and training rooms (i.e., the conference/training room face-covering exception for members up-to-date with their vaccination continues to no longer apply).
        • Business travel, as well as business lunches/dinners where social distancing cannot be maintained, remain at the discretion of the Business Unit Leader.
      • Exceptions:
        • Members and visitors, regardless of their vaccination status, are NOT required to wear face coverings if working alone in a workstation, office, or conference room.  (Due to the OSHA ETS being blocked by the Supreme Court, the previous requirement for unvaccinated members to wear a face covering while in their workstation no longer applies.)
        • In a conference or training room, the active speaker in the meeting, regardless of vaccination/booster status, may choose to remove their face covering while speaking.
        • When working at a client/supplier facility or job site, it remains allowable to flex to the practices of that workplace, even if those practices are less stringent than Foth’s, as long as they still comply with CDC guidelines for social distancing of unvaccinated individuals. 
  • Illness Protocol
    • Please continue to stay vigilant to keep each other safe and ensure business continuity.
    • If you are experiencing any symptoms, even if you believe it to just be a cold or flu, please quarantine away from the workplace and notify your RCM.  This applies even if you are up-to-date with COVID-19 vaccinations, as breakthrough cases are occurring.
    • Likewise, and unless you have completed the primary vaccination regimen within the last 6 months, have received a booster dose, or have tested positive/fully recovered from COVID within the last 90 days, if you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive or is being tested due to symptoms of COVID-19, please quarantine away from the workplace and notify your RCM.  This notification is required even if you are feeling well.

Thanks for your attentiveness to this and previous Member Alerts.

Travis McGrath


January 5, 2022

Omicron Surge, OSHA Vaccine Mandate, and Illness Protocol Updates.
ACTION REQUIRED BY JANUARY 9

Happy New Year Foth!

I’d hoped to start 2022 without ‘anything COVID’.  But alas, the new year brings a steep increase in COVID cases and hospitalizations, a federal vaccine-mandate deadline, and updated CDC isolation/quarantine and travel guidance.  Conditions around all these things are changing rapidly.  Hence, the purpose of this update is two-fold:  to update you on what we know (and don’t), and to call for your action as noted below.

OMICRON VARIANT

This highly-transmissible variant is driving a rapid surge in both case counts and hospitalizations in the US (see below).  Foth’s experience is no exception, as our COVID team has seen a recent increase in reported illnesses and exposures.  The CDC and others forecast that this surge could peak in late January, with a significant decline by early spring.

In the meantime, please stay vigilant to keep each other safe and mitigate disruption to our workforce, projects, and clients.  If you are experiencing any symptoms, even if you believe it to just be a cold or flu, please quarantine away from the workplace and notify your RCM.  This applies regardless of vaccination and/or booster status, as breakthrough cases are occurring.  Likewise, and unless you have been fully vaccinated within the last 6 months or have received your booster, if you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive or is being tested due to symptoms of COVID-19, please quarantine away from the workplace and notify your RCM.

OSHA EMERGENCY TEMPORARY STANDARD (ETS) – ACTION REQUIRED

In the Member Alert dated November 19, I notified you that a court decision ordered a “stay” (hold) on the federal vaccine mandate known as the OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS).  In a turn of events, on December 17, another court overturned that decision, allowing OSHA to move forward with the implementation of the ETS.  Shortly thereafter, OSHA announced that employers must be in compliance with all aspects of the ETS by January 10, although citations for non-compliance with the testing requirements will not be issued before February 9, so long as employers exhibit good faith efforts to comply with the standard.

It is important to note the decision to overturn the stay on the OSHA ETS has been appealed and is scheduled to be heard by the US Supreme Court on Friday, January 7.  It is anyone’s guess when or how the case will be decided.  In the meantime however, given the established compliance dates and stiff penalties for non-compliance, Foth cannot wait for that decision.  We are required to update our Workplace Safety Practices and members are required to comply, as described below.  If the Supreme Court determines the ETS to be unconstitutional, we will revisit the below updates accordingly.

  • Vaccination Practices
  • By January 9, 2022, per OSHA compliance requirements, ALL members (including members not yet approved for office reentry, and members designated by way of a Flexible Work Arrangement (or otherwise) as working exclusively from home) must complete Foth’s Vaccination Record in Dayforce.
  • The Vaccination Record requires members to disclose if they are fully vaccinated (with or without a booster), partially vaccinated, planning to be vaccinated, or not intending to be vaccinated. For those disclosed to be fully or partially vaccinated, the Vaccination Record requires that acceptable proof of vaccination be uploaded as part of the record submittal. Acceptable forms of vaccina­tion proof are outlined on the Vaccination Record.
  • MEMBER ACTION REQUIRED BY JANUARY 9:  For federal compliance, by this date it is critical for ALL members to complete the Vaccination Record in Dayforce.

Dayforce > Forms > COVID-19 > COVID Vaccination Record

  • Time Off for Vaccination/Recovery
  • Effective January 6, 2022, members not yet fully vaccinat­ed may request up to four hours of paid time off, per pri­mary dose, to receive a COVID-19 vaccination as well as a reasonable amount of time off, per dose, for recovery of any side effects of the COVID-19 vaccination that prevent them from working.  Please refer to the Workplace Safety Practices for more details on submitting a request.
  • Testing Practices  
  • The OSHA ETS allows employers the discretion to provide for a weekly testing option for those who do not complete the vaccination record or those who are unvaccinated.  Foth intends to provide this option.
  • If the Supreme Court upholds the ETS, the weekly testing option will be implemented.  Please watch for a follow-up with details on the testing requirements once the Supreme Court ruling is announced.

FACE COVERINGS AND SOCIAL DISTANCING

In light of the ETS and the risks posed by the Omicron surge, we are also modifying our practices for face coverings and social distancing.  Effective January 10, 2022, and for at least the duration of the Omicron surge, all members are required to wear face coverings and socially distance when in the workplace.  This means that:

  • Ridesharing is not allowable, regardless of vaccination/booster status.
  • Everyone needs to wear a face covering and stay socially distanced in conference and training rooms (i.e., the conference/training room face-covering exception for fully-vaccinated members no longer applies).
  • Business travel, as well as business lunches/dinners where social distancing cannot be maintained, remain at the discretion of the Business Unit Leader.
  • Exceptions:
      • Unvaccinated members are not required to wear face coverings if working alone in an enclosed space with a closed door (e.g., office with a door, focus room).  This means that face coverings are required when working in a workstation/cube or other open space.
      • Fully vaccinated members (with or without booster) are not required to wear face coverings while working in their personal workspace (cube or office) or alone in a conference, training, or focus room.
      • When working at a client/supplier facility or job site, it is allowable to flex to the practices of that workplace, even if those practices are less stringent than Foth’s, as long as they still comply with CDC guidelines for social distancing of unvaccinated individuals. 
      • In a conference or training room, the active speaker in the meeting, regardless of vaccination/booster status, may choose to remove their face covering while speaking.

 

Please be sure to thoroughly review the Workplace Safety Practices document which has been updated to reflect the above.  Also included in that document is the process to request a reasonable accommodation, on the basis a qualified medical or religious reason, from one or more of the practices outlined.

UPDATES TO CDC GUIDANCE ON ISOLATION/QUARANTINE AND TRAVEL 

As if the above is not enough already, on December 27 and again on January 4, the CDC announced updated guidance related to isolation/quarantine and travel.  Foth has updated our illness protocol and travel practices accordingly.

  • Most notably for isolation requirements, now those members who have been vaccinated in the last 6 months (for Pfizer/Moderna) or the last 2 months (for J&J) OR those who have received their booster, are not required to quarantine if they are exposed to the virus, as long as they are not exhibiting symptoms or test positive.
  • For travel, the CDC advises against international travel for those not vaccinated.  Unvaccinated members** who travel internationally will be required to quarantine/test upon return.  These members will be allowed to return to the workplace 5 days after their return if no symptoms (without the use of symptom-reducing medication) AND with a negative test taken 3-5 days after return.  Members** who have been fully vaccinated (>2 weeks after regimen) do not need to quarantine after their return (unless experiencing symptoms of COVID-19), but must still be tested 3-5 days after their return.

**Members (regardless of vaccination status) who, preceding travel, tested positive and have fully recovered in the last 3 months do not need to quarantine/test as long as they do not develop symptoms.

Thanks for your attentiveness to this and previous Member Alerts.

Despite sometimes feeling like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, as folks have often expressed during this pandemic, we Foth members have mastered resiliency.  Together, we accomplished great things over the past two years and we look forward to another year of success.  Wishing you good health and happiness in 2022!

Travis McGrath


November 19, 2021

Update on OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard

In the Member Alert dated November 5, we provided notification of the federal vaccination mandate published as the OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS).  As published, the ETS identified two critical implementation dates – December 5 (masking and vaccination record collection) and January 4 (testing option for those without a vaccination record).

However, as I described in the November Info meeting, since being published the ETS has been met with a number of legal challenges.  On November 12, the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit rejected the ETS and ordered that OSHA “take no steps to implement or enforce” the ETS “until further court order.” Subsequently, OSHA announced that ETS activities had been suspended pending future litigation developments.  Following that order, it has been decided that the various legal challenges will be consolidated and heard by the US Circuit Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.  It is expected that ultimately, the decision is likely to be escalated to the Supreme Court.

The timing the Sixth Circuit Court’s hearing and any follow-up appeals is unknown.  So while it is possible the ETS implementation date(s) may ultimately be delayed, employers have been advised to continue to prepare for implementation in the event the ETS is upheld.  Foth is following this advice, continuing to prepare accordingly. We also continue to navigate numerous client requirements related to vaccination, testing, training, etc. of members working/visiting those client sites.

We will continue to monitor the ETS activity and provide additional Member Alerts as appropriate.  In the meantime, Foth encourages all members to be vaccinated.  Visit vaccines.gov for information on vaccination locations near you.

Thank you for your continued attentiveness to this and previous Member Alerts.

Travis McGrath


November 5, 2021

Vaccination Mandate Update

As communicated previously, on September 9, 2021, President Biden released a COVID-19 directive to the US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to implement an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) applicable to employers of 100+ employees.  Yesterday, the ETS was  published into the Federal Register.     

OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) Published

As published, the ETS requires covered employers, such as Foth, to implement and enforce a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy. As an alternative to this new vaccination mandate, the ETS allows covered employers to choose to offer unvaccinated employees, in lieu of being fully vaccinated, the option to undergo weekly COVID-19 testing and wear a face covering when in the workplace.  Please note, Foth will not be mandating vaccinations as a condition of employment under the ETS requirements, and we plan to allow weekly testing as an alternative for members who cannot or choose not to get vaccinated. However, we also must continue to navigate a number of current and potential future client and federal contactor vaccination requirements, some of which do not allow a testing alternative.   

Foth is required to comply with and enforce the ETS or face significant fines.  Over the next couple weeks, we will be developing our policies and procedures to comply with the ETS, at which time we’ll provide more detailed communication.  For now, we’ve summarized the key provisions of the ETS below (a full review of the ETS and associated fact sheets can be found here).

Key Provisions of the ETS

  • The ETS requires employers to determine the vaccination status of its employees (including those working remotely), obtain acceptable proof of vaccination from employees to determine vaccination status, and maintain records and a roster of their vaccination status.
  • Employers are required to provide support for employee vaccination (i.e., time off for vaccination/recovery). (Note: This applies to primary vaccination dose(s) only; boosters are not covered in this requirement.)
  • Employees who are not fully vaccinated can be allowed to work in employers’ premises only if they are tested weekly for COVID-19, or within 7 days of returning to work after being away from the workplace for a week or longer.
    • The ETS does not require employers to pay for this testing. The ETS lays out the wide variety of tests that comply with the standard, noting however, that the test cannot be completely self-administered (i.e., an employee can’t both self-test and self-read/report the results).
  • Employees who are not fully vaccinated must wear a face covering when indoors at the workplace (including cubicles) or inside a vehicle with another person while working. The only exceptions are when an employee is alone in a room with floor-to-ceiling walls and a closed door, or for a limited time while eating/drinking.
  • The vaccination, testing, and face covering requirements of the ETS do not apply to individuals who are working from home or who work exclusively outdoors.
  • The ETS preempts any inconsistent state or local laws, including laws that ban or limit an employer’s authority to require vaccination, testing, or face coverings.
  • The testing requirement for unvaccinated workers carries a January 4 effective date.  However, December 5 is the effective date for all other requirements of the ETS (obtaining proof of vaccination status, masking for unvaccinated employees, etc.).  

We are aware of over 20 states that plan to challenge the ETS.  However, since the scope of the ETS excludes those who don’t come into the workplace or who work exclusively outside, and since it allows for testing and masks as an alternative, industry insiders believe it is likely that the ETS will be upheld.  Regardless of any legal challenges, given the tight implementation deadlines, we need to move forward with implementing our policies and procedures, adjusting as needed to any resulting changes to the ETS.

Action Needed

We’ll provide more information within the next few weeks, once we have our policies and procedures developed.  In the meantime:

  • We strongly encourage members who haven’t been fully vaccinated to do so.
  • If you are fully vaccinated, but have not yet completed Foth’s vaccination attestation in Dayforce, please do so now or as soon as you become fully vaccinated. (Dayforce>Forms>Acknowledgements>Voluntary Attestation of COVID Vaccination)
  • To be fully vaccinated by the mandate’s January 4 effective date requires the following: (Note:  Booster shots are not currently included in the definition of fully vaccinated.)
   Moderna First dose by Nov 23 4 week waiting period before second dose
   Pfizer First dose by Nov 30 3 week waiting period before second dose
   J&J Single dose by Dec 21*
(*date corrected from Dec. 30)
No second dose

Thank you for your continued attentiveness to this and previous Member Alerts, and for your support as we navigate the various rules and regulations impacting Foth as an employer and client service provider.

Travis McGrath


Click here to view more COVID-19 member alert messages.