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.
Foth Business Travel Advisory
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:
Friday, July 9, 2021
Why Our Daily Wellness Survey Still Matters
Things have started to feel more “normal” lately. With the CDC recommending a relaxing of COVID safety practices for those who are vaccinated, and news indicating those who are previously infected could be similarly protected, most of us are enjoying some re-found freedom.
However, we’re not out of the woods yet, as recent developments illustrate:
- Experts estimate that the current dominant COVID strain, the Delta variant, is 40% to 80% more transmissible than1 (and one report said twice as transmissible as) the original COVID strain.
- Some observations indicate that protection from reinfection by vaccines and prior infection might start to wane after about six months. For example, for the month of June, Israel’s health ministry observed that vaccine effectiveness in preventing both infection and symptomatic disease fell to 64%. This dip in effectiveness (relative to earlier trial data) was mostly due to infections in people who had been vaccinated in January and February, and infections were mostly caused by the Delta variant2. And while recent data from Israel and Britain indicate that vaccines might remain around 95% effective against severe disease, that’s still a 1-in-20 chance of getting seriously ill if exposed – even after vaccination.
- Vaccination rates remain low in some locations3, including at least one state where Foth has offices. Case counts in these and some other areas have been climbing again recently, which increases the risk of any particular person (unvaccinated or vaccinated) getting infected and sick, and provides more opportunity for the virus to mutate into new strains.
For these reasons, and to support Foth’s contact-tracing capability, it remains vitally important for members to continue to monitor for COVID symptoms, and either affirm you’re symptom-free before entering Foth’s and clients’ workplaces, or stay home if you have symptoms. Please continue our practice of completing Foth’s member wellness survey each day before entering a Foth office. And if your office uses an access card for entry, please swipe your card to enter (i.e., don’t “draft” behind someone else). If you’re working at a client site and the client has a corresponding requirement, please continue to meet that requirement.
Thank you for your continued adherence to our important workplace safety practices!
- For example, see <https://thehill.com/opinion/healthcare/560797-what-is-the-covid-19-delta-variant-should-we-be-concerned>
- From <https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/pfizer-ask-fda-authorize-booster-dose-covid-vaccine-delta-variant-spreads-2021-07-08/>
- For example, see <https://www.cnn.com/2021/07/08/health/undervaccinated-clusters-covid-risk/index.html>
Thursday, June 24, 2021
Friday, June 18, 2021
Flexible Work Arrangement Agreement Form is Live in Dayforce
In follow-up to last Friday’s Member Alert, the agreement form to document a flexible work arrangement is now live in Dayforce and ready for use.
To access the form:
- From the Intranet homepage, click on “Dayforce”
- Click on “Forms”
- Click on “Acknowledgements”
To access our Flexible Work Arrangement CBA, please click here.
A few items to note regarding flexible work arrangements:
- There is no specific date by which an agreement must be in place. Arrangements can be formalized by way of an agreement at any time.
- Please be sure to discuss your requested arrangement with your RCM before taking action to document the arrangement by way of the agreement in Dayforce.
- If you have any questions regarding the Flexible Work Arrangement CBA or the agreement, please contact your RCM.
Thanks for your continued attentiveness to this and previous Member Alerts.
Friday, June 11, 2021
Friday Flashback and New Flexible Work Arrangement CBA
Hello Foth members,
Together, we’ve endured once-in-a-generation events over the last 15 months. On Friday, March 20, 2020, after a few initial weeks of world-wide upheaval, Randy communicated how incredibly proud he was of how Foth members responded to all the unknowns. We improvised, adapted, and persevered. And through it all, we stayed true to our One Foth Culture, demonstrating our core values and basic principles in the face of adversity, and not missing a beat in solving our clients’ (more than ever!) toughest science and engineering challenges.
As a Friday Flashback, check out this chain of events:
- On Friday, March 6, 2020, Randy issued our first company-wide “alert” regarding COVID-19.
- On March 16, 2020, a Member Alert was issued encouraging all members to work from home.
- On March 24, 2020, most Foth local offices were temporarily closed due to state/local shelter-in-place (or similar) orders — and we all learned how to continue to solve our clients’ toughest science and engineering challenges while predominantly working “remotely.”
- On May 22, 2020, our Workplace Safety Practices and related training were put in place in anticipation of reopening some local offices.
- On June 3, 2020, we commenced our pilot reopening, followed by a second pilot on July 2, and resulting in Wave 1 reopening on July 13.
Now, almost a year after Wave 1 reentry, we eagerly await meeting the conditions that will allow for our full reopening. And while we cannot yet predict the date by which those conditions will be met, we are inching closer. For example, the risk of COVID spreading is now in the “low yellow” range near most of Foth’s offices – just above the “green” risk we’re looking for. As we indicated previously, we will provide at least 30 days’ notice prior to the full reopening date.
In the meantime, we know that members who aren’t currently part of Wave 1 want to plan for their return to the office. We also know that some members have become accustomed to delivering their work with excellence regardless of their location, and may be looking for even more flexibility than what was typically experienced at Foth pre-COVID. With that in mind, through a collaborative effort of our COVID reopening team, our Foth Steering Group, and our Operations Leaders in each business unit, we have developed our new Flexible Work Arrangement CBA. This CBA outlines the purpose, conditions, and process for flexible work arrangements, and replaces Foth’s previous “Telecommuting” CBA. This Flexible Work Arrangement CBA is intended only for those members who are requesting to work from home and/or change their work schedule on a routine basis (not just occasionally). Please note that the Dayforce form, noted within the CBA’s Exhibit A, will not be live until June 18. In anticipation of our full reopening, members interested in exploring a flexible work arrangement, with an effective date to be determined between the member and the RCM, are encouraged to discuss their requests with their RCM.
Also, as a reminder, any member who is interested in routine office entry prior to our full reopening can communicate that request to their RCM, and the RCM can coordinate the member’s addition to Wave 1.
Echoing Randy’s message from March 20, 2020, we remain in this together! We continue to respond as a One Foth team to whatever challenges come our way, remaining steadfast in our commitment to our Foth Family, and in our purpose of helping to solve our clients’ toughest science and engineering challenges.
Thank you for your continued attentiveness to this and previous Member Alerts. Have a wonderful weekend!
Friday, May 21, 2021
Eased Workplace Safety Practices for Individuals Voluntarily Attesting to Being Fully Vaccinated
In follow-up to last Friday’s Member Alert regarding the recently updated CDC guidance, I have some great news to share!
Effective May 24, 2021, members and visitors who have completed a voluntary attestation to having been fully vaccinated are not required to wear face coverings or to socially distance while in Foth offices, as long as state or local health ordinances do not require otherwise.
Please note, this change is not an activation of Foth’s “full return” plan; we are not asking additional members to return at this time. Members who have not been previously approved for office reentry still require RCM pre-approval for office entry.
Please take note of the following important details and related considerations (the proverbial fine print):
- Individuals are considered fully vaccinated if it has been two or more weeks since their last dose of vaccine.
- Those who are not fully vaccinated should continue to wear face coverings and practice social distancing while in the workplace.
- Members/visitors who previously recovered from COVID, but are not fully vaccinated, still need to wear face coverings and practice social distancing (consistent with CDC guidance).
- Members wishing to voluntarily attest to being fully vaccinated can do so by completing the attestation in Dayforce. The attestation can be completed at any time. If not fully vaccinated now, it can be completed at a later date.
- Open Dayforce.
- If prompted, select the Member
- Click the Forms
- Under the Acknowledgements section, click on Voluntary Attestation of COVID Vaccination.
- Read the attestation carefully and then click Submit. (Please disregard the checkbox field on the left; clicking Submit enters your acknowledgement).
- Beginning Monday, our visitor wellness survey will include a similar voluntary attestation. Upon completion, visitors can follow the same relaxed practices.
- We are trusting members and visitors to complete the attestation honestly and that only those who have completed the attestation will be following the relaxed practices.
- Our Workplace Safety Practices document and associated training has been updated to reflect this change.
- Members who have completed the attestation can ride-share with other Foth members who have completed the attestation when traveling for business.
- Members who are fully vaccinated and who have completed the voluntary attestation may still choose to wear a face covering and practice social distancing.
- Please understand we continue to be operating in a period of significant change. It is essential that respect be shown to anyone who decides to continue wearing a face coverings or practice social distancing.
- Individuals who are not comfortable joining a meeting in a conference room without a face covering can wear one and/or stay socially-distanced in the room, or make arrangements to join online.
- When clients or suppliers enter our workplace, we can ask if they’re comfortable following our relaxed practices, or if they want us to follow their practices (if more stringent).
- Our daily wellness survey will still be required, even if vaccinated. Please keep in mind, consistent with CDC guidance, our Workplace Safety Practices still require those who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 to stay out of the workplace and report the illness, even if vaccinated.
- Since our full workplace safety practices will apply to any members or visitors who are not fully vaccinated or who choose to not complete the attestation, we will not be making any changes to our signage or other Workplace Safety Practices reminders in our offices.
- Those who have not yet been vaccinated but are interested in doing so can click here for more information.
- Members are expected to comply with state/local health orders or other laws that may still mandate the use of face coverings and/or social distancing.
- Please consult with your local health department. Information found here may also be helpful.
- Face coverings are required on all US airplanes, buses, taxis, and trains—even in states that have dropped their face covering orders—under a CDC order that was extended through mid-September.
- Members must continue to follow clients’/jobsites’ requirements if more stringent than Foth’s.
We’re starting to see some light at the end of this pandemic tunnel. And while this is a step in the right direction relative to the easing of restrictions, all of our other Workplace Safety Practices still apply for the time being. Thanks for your ongoing commitment to our practices and your continued attentiveness to this and previous Member Alerts.