Member Alerts – Archived

(Click here to view the most recent member alert messages.)


 

Friday, May 14, 2021

Change in CDC Guidance for Fully Vaccinated People

Hello Foth members,

Great news!  Yesterday, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced relaxed guidance related to face coverings and social distancing for people who are fully vaccinated.* 

In short, the CDC communicated that those who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can resume activities without wearing a face covering or social distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, including local business and workplace guidance. Likewise, the CDC guidance regarding domestic and international travel has also changed for those who are fully vaccinated.  A full summary of the relaxed CDC guidance can be found here.

So how does the CDC’s relaxed guidance impact Foth’s Workplace Safety Practices?  For now, please continue to follow our Workplace Safety Practices.  Our reopening team is formulating a plan and we have some reviews and details to work through.  We expect to be ready to communicate any changes to our workplace practices by the end of next week.

*As per the CDC, people are considered fully vaccinated:

  • 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or
  • 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine

Those who don’t meet the above requirements are NOT fully vaccinated. Likewise, those who are fully vaccinated but are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 should stay away from the workplace and report the illness to their RCM.  Those who have not yet been vaccinated can click here for more information.

Thanks for your continued attentiveness to this and previous Member Alerts.

Travis McGrath


Friday, April 9, 2021

Adjustments to our Workplace Safety Practices

Hello Foth members,

Based on recently revised CDC guidance, we have adjusted our Workplace Safety Practices as follows:

Cleaning Protocol

The CDC has recently revised its COVID-19 cleaning recommendations related to COVID-19 due to new research showing that transmission via surface contact is low.  As a result, we will no longer require enhanced cleaning throughout the day, and signage related to cleaning specific areas after use (e.g., railings, conference rooms, microwaves, printers) will be removed. Cleaning materials will remain available for those who wish to clean before and/or after use. Cleaning and sanitizing, in accordance with CDC guidance, will continue in instances where individuals testing positive or suspected to have COVID-19 are known to have been in a space.

Travel Protocol

As a result of revised CDC guidance, members who, preceding travel, tested positive for COVID-19 and have fully recovered in the last 3 months, OR who have been fully vaccinated (> 2 weeks after regimen), do not need to quar­antine upon return from an international and/or cruise trip, as long as they do not develop new symptoms.

Illness Protocol

Members who have been in close contact with an individual who tested positive or is being tested due to COVID-19 symptoms, do not need to report the illness/quarantine if they have fully recovered in the last 3 months, or have been fully vaccinated (> 2 weeks after regimen), as long as they do not develop new symptoms.

Wellness Surveys

Surveys will continue to be required of all visitors upon entrance to a Foth local office and by all members each day they are working somewhere other than their home.  However, based on the revised CDC guidance, sometime next week our surveys will be revised.  Early on in the survey, a question will be added as to recovery and/or vaccination status.  Those answering “yes” to having fully recovered from COVID-19 in the last 3 months OR having been fully vaccinated (>2 weeks after regimen), AND not experiencing any new symptoms, will receive a “fast pass” to bypass the remaining survey questions and enter the workplace.

Workplace Safety Practices

Please remember that face coverings, social distancing, and other practices outlined in our Workplace Safety Practices document must be sustained, regardless of illness recovery and/or fully vaccinated status.

Thanks for your attentiveness to this and previous Member Alerts, and for your on-going commitment to health and safety.

Travis McGrath


Friday, April 2, 2021

Office Availability, Symptom Attentiveness, Vaccine, and Eventual Reopening

Hello Foth members,

Please take a few minutes to review the updates that follow:

 CALIFORNIA AND MINNESOTA OFFICE AVAILABILITY

Easing local health orders now allow our Novato, CA office to be made available.  As of April 15, easing state health orders will allow our Minnesota (Minneapolis/St. Paul, Duluth, and Ely) offices to be made available.  Members affiliated with any of those local offices who would like to be working in those offices on a regular basis should contact their Resource Center Manager to be added to our Wave 1 group of members.  Members seeking only occasional access to those offices should continue to request access from their RCM as needed.

WHEN IN DOUBT, PLEASE STAY OUT!

Consistent with CDC guidance, our current survey and workplace safety practices outline common, potential COVID-19 symptoms which include fever, cough, shortness of breath, sudden loss of taste or smell, or other cold- and flu-related symp­toms such as muscle pain, body aches, chills, respiratory illness, headache, sore throat, congestion, runny nose, nausea, or diarrhea.  As some of our members have experienced first-hand, what was thought to be seasonal allergies turned out to be symptoms of COVID-19.  If you are experiencing any symptoms, even if you believe them to be simply a cold or allergies, please stay away from the workplace and notify your RCM.

COVID-19 VACCINE

As availability and eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine expands, US members can visit the CDC site for information on their respective state’s plan and access to their state’s health department site.  All members are encouraged to contact their primary care provider with any vaccine-related questions.

As communicated previously, it’s important to remember that even once vaccines are available to everyone, not everyone will get vaccinated.  Accordingly, it’s essential to continue to follow Foth’s Workplace Safety Practices regarding mask wearing, social distancing, and other health and safety practices, even after receiving your vaccination or if you have previously recovered from the virus.  And even if there is no local or state mandate requiring the use of face coverings or social distancing, Foth still requires these practices in the workplace.  Please also note that Foth will continue to monitor updates to CDC recommendations.  Any resulting updates made to our practices will be communicated to members.  In the meantime, please continue to follow Foth’s Workplace Safety Practices, regardless of any reported updates to CDC recommendations.

REOPENING UPDATE

Our reopening team is coordinating with our Business Unit and Operations Leaders to determine the timing for our full return to the workplace.  Please watch for more information over the next month or two as our plans take shape, and know that in preparing for additional member reentry, at least 30 days’ notice will be provided.

Thanks for your continued attentiveness to this and previous Member Alerts.

Be well, and have a great weekend!

Travis McGrath


Friday, March 12, 2021

Video Share:  About the COVID-19 Vaccines

The following video was provided to Foth by USI, our benefits consultant, as a resource for learning about the COVID-19 vaccines.  For more information on the vaccines, please contact your primary care provider.

https://flimp.me/HubDeliverableCovidVaccineAbout

 

Friday, March 5, 2021

Spreading Risk Update, Vaccine Information, Office Supplies at Home Program

As we acknowledge one full year of working amid COVID-19 (can you believe it?), please take a few minutes to review the update and other information below.

COVID-19 SPREADING RISK UPDATE

It’s great to see a decrease in the risk of COVID-19 spreading across most of the U.S. (see latest risk map below)!  However, as it pertains to our office reopening activity and the reentry of additional waves of members, we want to see the risk drop to “green” in the areas in which we operate.  Please continue to work from home as you are able, and if traveling for business, be mindful of your routes and any advisories within the state(s) you are entering or returning.  Please contact your RCM for any support needed in planning your business travel.

Source:  globalepidemics.org

COVID-19 VACCINE

As the administration of the COVID-19 vaccine begins to pick up across the country, please be aware that the vaccine is fully covered under the UMR plan for participants enrolled in Foth’s medical plan.

The CDC has outlined their recommendations for who should receive the vaccine first.  Then, each state has made its own plan on how the vaccine will be distributed.  As it pertains to “essential worker” status outlined in vaccine distribution plans, Foth, as an entity, does not appear to meet the definition of “essential.” However, some of our client’s operations do meet that definition.  As was the case in the early stages of the pandemic in determining “essential worker” status as it pertained to Foth members being exempt from various safer at home orders, when it comes to vaccine distribution, we continue to be reliant on our clients to notify us if “essential worker” status applies to Foth members working on their projects.

For more information on your respective state’s plan/access to your state’s health department site, as well as answers to general questions you may have regarding the vaccine, visit the CDC site.  You may also wish to contact your personal care provider.

It’s important to remember that even once vaccines are available to everyone, not everyone will get vaccinated, and those who get vaccinated will do so at different times. Accordingly, it’s essential to continue to follow Foth’s Workplace Safety Practices regarding mask wearing, social distancing, and other health and safety practices, even after receiving your vaccination or if you have previously recovered from the virus.  Please also note that Foth will continue to monitor updates to CDC recommendations.  Any resulting updates made to our practices will be communicated to members.  In the meantime, please continue to follow Foth’s Workplace Safety Practices, regardless of any reported updates to CDC recommendations.

And just for fun, here is a nice graphic depicting how many doses (per 100,000 people) have been administered by state:

Source:  globalepidemics.org

OFFICE SUPPLIES AT HOME PROGRAM

For those working from home, our Staples Office Supplies at Home program is again available.  As a reminder, this program provides the opportunity to set-up an individual account, allowing up to $25.00 in office supplies to be ordered and drop-shipped to your home (with the billings directed to Foth).

If you participated in this program previously, feel free to log into your account at https://www.staplesadvantage.com/sahome and place a new order.  If you have not previously ordered through this program, but would like to participate, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Provide our Supply Chain Manager, Mike Sprang (mike.sprang@foth.com), with the following information (which will then be provided to Staples)

Name
Address
Phone number
Email address

  1. Watch your email for a message from Staples and follow the instructions to complete your account set-up
  2. Place your order for the contracted/pre-approved office supplies

Please note that this round of the Supplies at Home is not cumulative with previous rounds (i.e., you can’t combine this round with any unused amounts from previous rounds).

I’m sure you join me in wanting to see an end to this pandemic. In the meantime, thanks for your continued attentiveness to this and other member alerts – and for your commitment to our Workplace Safety Practices.

Travis McGrath


Monday, February 15, 2021

Resuming Cleaning of Personal Workspaces

Beginning the week of February 22, we will be resuming cleaning of personal workspaces (workstations and offices) in all Foth local offices with the exception of Novato, Minneapolis, and Chicago.

Our cleaning service providers will not clean any personal workspaces that are occupied by members at the time the service provider is in the office.

If you do not want your personal workspace to be cleaned by the service provider, please notify Barb Braun (Building Services Manager) by end of business Friday, February 19, and she will notify the service provider accordingly.

Nicole Gear


Friday, January 22, 2021

Vaccine Information, Travel and Quarantine Updates, and Reminders

Please review the information that follows regarding the COVID-19 vaccine, some updates to our travel practices and quarantine protocol, and a few general reminders.

COVID-19 VACCINE

  • With the vaccine becoming more widely available, we have been monitoring the vaccine administration protocols for our various states. However, it is unclear at this point whether Foth, as an employer of some members potentially classified as essential workers, will have any say in the availability of the vaccine for those members.  The reopening team will continue to monitor the vaccine administration protocols and provide updates with any relevant information as it becomes available.
  • In the meantime, should you have general questions regarding the vaccine, feel free to watch a video linked here.  The video was provided by one of our wellness partners, Bellin Health, and shares information about the vaccine and addresses some misconceptions. NOTE:  The video is 34 minutes long and was recorded on January 11, so some information shared may have changed.
    • Please keep in mind, the video does not provide medical guidance.  All members are encouraged to reach out to their primary care physician with specific questions or concerns relating to the vaccine.
  • Please note, due to uncertainties in how effective the vaccines are, members who have been/are vaccinated must still follow Foth’s Workplace Safety Practices (daily Wellness Survey, wearing face coverings, illness reporting, etc.).

ILLNESS REPORTING AND QUARATINE PROTOCOL

  • Please remember that if you are feeling any kind of symptom of COVID-19, even if you believe your symptom(s) is from a common cold, stay home and contact your RCM.  This will trigger your RCM to reach out to either Nicole Gear or Lisa Sauer for guidance on testing and return to work instructions.
  • As per CDC guidance, members who have tested positive and recovered from COVID-19 in the past 90 days, and are re-exposed to the virus, are not required to re-quarantine, unless new symptoms develop.  However, those members are still required to follow Foth’s Workplace Safety Practices.

TRAVEL

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director has signed an order requiring all airline passengers to the US, ages two years and older, to provide a negative COVID-19 viral test taken within three calendar days of travel – OR – to provide a positive test result AND documentation from a licensed health care provider or public health official of having recovered from COVID-19 in the 90 days preceding travel.  The new requirement becomes effective January 26.  For more information, click here.
  • We have updated our travel restrictions, specific to members who travel via cruise ship or internationally, as follows:
    • Members who have tested positive and recovered from COVID-19 in the 90 days preceding travel, are NOT required to quarantine upon return, unless there is an onset of new symptoms.
    • Members who have not tested positive/recovered in the 90 days preceding travel, will continue to be required to quarantine away from the workplace upon return.  However, the quarantine period will no longer be 14 days.  Instead, members will be allowed to return to the workplace after 10 days with no symptoms (without the use of symptom-reducing medication) – OR – after 7 days, if testing negative (with the test taken no sooner than day 5 after return).

OFFICE REENTRY  

  • Please be reminded that members remain encouraged to work from home whenever possible, and that when in the office, meetings are expected to be held virtually.  If the nature of the meeting requires in-person activity, please be sure to follow social distancing practices, including use of face coverings, appropriately-spaced seating arrangements, and individually-served food/beverage.
  • And you have probably already inferred this, but we are not yet able to bring our Waves 2 and 3 back to the offices.  We continue to monitor all relevant factors as we look forward to returning to the offices later this year and finding our “new normal”!

FRAUDULENT UNEMPLOYMENT CLAIMS 

  • As communicated in a previous Member Alert, during COVID-19, scammers are finding ways to take advantage of filing fraudulent unemployment claims, whether through false reporting or identify theft.  If you receive a phone call or letter asking you about an unemployment claim that you did not file, please notify Kristine Walker, file a report with your state unemployment benefits agency, and report the fraud with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).  Read more from the FTC about fraudulent unemployment claims and what you can do here.

Thanks for your continued attentiveness to this and previous Member Alerts and compliance with our Workplace Safety Practices.  Should you have any questions, please let me know.

Have a great weekend, and be well!

Travis McGrath


Monday, December 22, 2020, 3:00 p.m. (One Foth homepage message)

COVID-19 Spreading Risk Update

We wish the maps below looked more “Christmassy” with lots of green, but as you can see, COVID-19 continues to spread heavily in the U.S.  As it pertains to office reopening activity and the reentry of additional waves of members, we want to see the risk drop to “green” in the areas in which we operate.  Please continue to work from home as you are able, and if traveling for business, be mindful of your routes and any advisories within the state(s) you are entering or returning.  Please contact your RCM for any support needed in planning your business travel.

Here’s hoping for a more “green” 2021!

Stay safe and enjoy the holidays.


Tuesday, November 24, 2020, 6:46 p.m.


Friday, November 20, 2020, 1:53 p.m.

Safety and Connectivity Practices – Action May Be Needed

Please review this alert for a number of items relating to safety and connectivity practices.

STATE/LOCAL HEALTH ORDERS

Over the past couple weeks there has been a flurry of new or updated health order activity at both the state and local level.  As always, Foth intends to operate in compliance with such orders.  With the exception of the newest Wisconsin order which required enhancements to our workplace practices, our standard practices and/or offices that have been made available for reentry are in compliance with other state/local orders.  One of the overarching themes of the various orders is for members to work from home whenever possible/practical (and in the case of Wisconsin, only work in the office when “strictly necessary”).  Please keep this in mind when planning your work activities – if they can be performed from home, please do so.  We will continue to monitor evolving health orders.  If you become aware of a new or enhanced order impacting your local office, please inform your local office contact (as noted on the last page of our Workplace Safety Practices document).

AT-HOME COVID TESTING

You have likely been on the receiving end of marketing messages regarding the availability of at-home COVID testing.  While COVID remains a national public health emergency (currently declared effective through January 2021), if ordered by your healthcare provider, at-home testing is covered at 100% under Foth’s medical plan (for plan participants).  However, at-home tests purchased through Amazon or other retailers are not covered under the Foth medical plan.

COVID-19 JOB HAZARD ANALYSIS (JHA)

Early in the pandemic we established a Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) specific to COVID-19.  We have recently made updates to our COVID-19 JHA to address illness protocol and general precautions/considerations when traveling.  For members traveling or working in the field, please be familiar with the JHA linked here.  For Project Managers, please make sure you utilize the JHA as you develop your project specific safety plans. Any questions can be directed to Chris Seider or your respective business unit safety team leader.

ILLNESS REPORTING (When in Doubt, Please Stay Out)

Given the uptick in the spread of the virus, please be attentive to any symptoms exhibited by you or others in your household, and mindful of our illness reporting practices.  If any of the following apply, please notify your RCM and do not enter the workplace (business travel, local office, client site, etc.):

  • You have any COVID-19 symptoms.
  • You have an exposure outside the household that would be considered close contact.*
  • You will be or have been tested due to suspicion of or exposure to COVID and are waiting for results.
  • You have a household member with symptoms.
  • You have a household member who is being tested or is waiting for results.  (Exception is a household member who is a healthcare provider or other profession, or a student, who is not symptomatic but gets tested on a regularly-scheduled basis.)
  • You have a positive test result.
*For COVID-19, the CDC defines a Close Contact as any individual who, during the tracing period, was within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period.

PHOTO ICON – OUTLOOK AND TEAMS

Over the last few months, both Randy and I have emphasized the importance of staying connected, including the practice of sharing your video when in 1:1 meetings, small group meetings, and when speaking in a meeting.    Another way to create a more personal connection is to have your photo icon in place.

If you already have a personal photo icon that reflect professionalism, THANK YOU – there is nothing more you need to do.

If you don’t have a personal photo icon in place, or if you need to update your photo, please follow these instructions.

As always, thanks for your attentiveness to this and all previous Member Alerts. If you have any questions regarding any of the reminders or expectations listed above, please let me know.

Have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!

Travis McGrath


Friday, November 13, 2020, 2:24 p.m.

Enhanced Practices in Wisconsin to Comply with New Wisconsin Executive Order

*This message is directed to Foth Wisconsin members and other members who may be working in a Foth Wisconsin local office*

Given the continued increase in COVID-19 cases, earlier this week, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers signed an Executive Order urging Wisconsin residents to follow COVID-19 safety guidelines.  While the order is not a mandate, effective Monday, November 16, Foth Wisconsin members, and members of other Foth local offices who are working in a Foth Wisconsin local office, are expected to comply with our following enhanced practices:

  • Wave 1 members, and other members who have been approved for access to a Wisconsin office, who are able to perform their work from home, are expected (not just encouraged) to do so.  Office access will remain available where it is strictly necessary to accomplish business deliverables or building management.
    • This means those who have been coming to the office due to personal preference, and not for project or business necessity, should work from home.
    • Members who are unable to perform their work from home, or who need to be in a Foth office, supplier site, client site, or project site to complete work tasks or deliverables, should work from those locations, subject to all applicable Workplace Safety Practices.
    • As always, if working from home will be aided by the use of equipment currently in your personal workspace, feel free to take that equipment home for work use.  However, please do not take home desks or other furniture (other than your chair).
  • When in the office, meetings are to be held virtually.  In-person meetings are to be held only when strictly necessary to effectively accomplish meeting outcomes.
  • Visitor access is to be restricted to only those visitors strictly necessary to accomplish business deliverables or building management.
    • Please remember, all visitor access must be preapproved by the respective local office contact. Please refer to the list of local office contacts in our Workplace Safety Practices.
  • For business travel, preapproval requirements remain in place per your Business Unit’s procedures.
  • For those working somewhere other than their home, the requirement to complete the Member Wellness Survey remains in place.
    • Prior to any business travel, or entering any workplace (office, client/supplier facility, or job site), members remain required to complete the daily wellness survey (either Foth’s or client/supplier’s).

 

Please contact your Resource Center Manager with any additional questions about what activities or tasks are considered strictly necessary.

The Executive Order does not specify an end date, so the above enhanced practices will be in place until further notice.  We will continue to monitor the relevance of the Wisconsin order, as well as any similar orders which may be enacted in other states, and modify our practices as appropriate.

As always, our objective remains to comply with CDC guidance and any local orders, and to support the health and safety of our members, their families, our clients, our business partners, and the communities in which we operate.  Thanks for doing your part to adhere to our Workplace Safety Practices and the above enhanced practices.

Travis McGrath


Friday, October 23, 2020, 6:49 a.m.

CDC Revises Definition of 6:15 for “Close Contacts”

Hello Foth members,

In and outside of Foth, you’ve likely heard the reference to 6:15 or 6:15:48 used during contract tracing to identify close contacts (those with higher level of exposure).  More specifically, 6:15:48 means within 6 feet, for 15 minutes or more, within the 48 hours prior to symptom onset or the collection of a positive test specimen.

Yesterday, the CDC updated 6:15, defining the 15 minute component as cumulative over a 24-hour period.  Meaning, if you’re within 6’ of an infected person for 15 minutes or more, cumulative over a 24-hour period, your risk of exposure is increased.  Likewise, as it pertains to Foth’s illness protocol (modeled after the CDC guidance), those identified as close contacts using this updated definition will be required to quarantine, the duration of which will be based on the scenario.

This updated guidance from the CDC reinforces the importance of social distancing – both for our health and to mitigate disruption to our business and projects.  Please keep 6:15 in mind both in and out of the workplace.

As always, thanks for your attentiveness to this and previous Member Alerts.

Have a great weekend,

Travis McGrath


Wednesday, October 21, 2020, 7:11 p.m.


Friday, October 16, 2020, 1:46 p.m.

October Spreading Risk Update, Use of Video Meetings, and Other Reminders

Today’s message contains an update on the current COVID-19 spreading risk in the US, the importance of staying connected while we continue to work in a largely virtual environment, and a few reminders of our Workplace Safety Practices.

COVID-19 Spreading Risk Update

COVID-19 continues to spread heavily in the Midwest and Central US, with notable increases in spreading risk over the last month in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa (home to a number of Foth local offices).  As it pertains to our office reopening activity, and the reentry of additional waves of members, we want to see the risk drop to “green.” In the meantime, please continue to work from home as you are able, and if traveling for business, be mindful of your routes and any advisories within the state(s) you are entering or to which you are returning.  Please contact your RCM for any support needed in planning your business travel.  Thanks to those of you who are in the field or on the road solving our clients’ toughest science and engineering challenges!

 

(Source:  GlobalEpidemics.org)

Staying Connected in a Virtual Environment

As Randy communicated a few times in his video messages, it is important for us to stay connected while working virtually.  Staying connected is key to attributes of our intentional culture – building and maintaining relationships and being quality-minded in the delivery of our work.

A great way to stay connected is through the use of video in Teams meetings.  When doing interviews, integration meetings, 1:1 meetings with your team members or team leaders, and whenever you are speaking during a meeting, please turn on your video.  And remember to use the Foth branded background when meeting with external parties.  If camera issues are preventing you from turning on your video, please be sure to contact the Service Desk.

Workplace Safety Practices Reminders

Member Wellness Survey

Please remember that each day you are working somewhere other than your home office, the completion of the Member Wellness Survey is required.  The only exception to this is if you are working at a client/supplier site that also requires a daily wellness survey.  On those days, you only need to complete the client/supplier site wellness survey.

To easily access the Member Wellness Survey from your mobile phone, you can add the link to your home screen on your smartphone, save it as a bookmark on your smartphone browser (Apple; Android), or save it as a note in your preferred notes app.

Illness/Contact Reporting

As always, please self-monitor for common symptoms of COVID-19 (e.g., fever, cough, shortness of breath). If you, someone in your household, or someone with whom you’ve had close contact is experiencing symptoms and/or being tested, please do not travel or report to the workplace. Instead, please notify your RCM and contact your healthcare provider.  Please err on the side of caution; if you are not feeling well, please do not travel or report to the workplace.  Doing so puts others at risk (in and outside of our workplace) and can jeopardize our ability to serve our clients.

Thanks for your continued attentiveness to this and previous Member Alerts – and for continuing to improvise, adapt, and persevere!

Travis McGrath


Thursday, October 8, 2020, 12:53, p.m.


Wednesday, September 23, 2020, 9:50 p.m.


Friday, September 18, 2020, 4:02 p.m.

“Office Supplies at Home” Program and Other Reminders

Hello Foth members,

Please review the information that follows for a few reminders, including another opportunity to participate in our Office Supplies at Home program.

Workspace Equipment

If you are working from home and have yet already done so, please remember that you can make arrangements with your RCM to access the office to pick-up your personal workspace equipment for use at home.  Many have found that having their monitor, docking station, keyboard, and desk chair moved to their home workspace has improved their productivity.  Please keep in mind that office furniture, other than your desk chair, is not to be moved home.

Printing Needs

If you are working from home but need to make copies or pick-up printed materials, please make arrangements with your RCM to access the office.

Use of Video

When working from home, it is important to stay connected with your team members.  A great way to do so is to turn on your video when connecting through Teams.  Doing so is especially important when meeting 1:1 or in small groups.  Please be sure maintain a professional appearance, both in your dress and selection of backgrounds.

Calendar Management

Please remember to keep your calendar current as to your availability, regardless of your work location.  With many members working from home, there has been an increase in scheduled meetings.  Keeping your calendar up to date, and allowing others access to your calendar as appropriate, will make scheduling meetings easier.  In managing your calendar, please be sure your availability also reflects your standard work hours.  If you need help with Outlook’s calendar management functions, please contact the Service Desk at 920-496-6614 or servicedesk@foth.com.

Occasional or Regular Office Access

As noted in a previous Member Alert, if you are not currently part of the pilot or wave 1 groups, but need access to a Foth local office, please contact your RCM to request an approval/access letter (for occasional/intermittent access) or to ask to be added to wave 1 (if you need more regular access).

Office Supplies at Home Program

For those working from home, our Staples Office Supplies at Home program is again available.  As a reminder, this program provides the opportunity to set-up an individual account, allowing up to $25.00 in office supplies to be ordered and drop-shipped to your home (with the billings directed to Foth).

If you participated in this program previously, feel free to log into your account at https://www.staplesadvantage.com/sahome.

If you have not previously done so, but would like to participate, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Provide our Supply Chain Manager, Mike Sprang (mike.sprang@foth.com), with the following information (which will then be provided to Staples)
  2. Name
  3. Address
  4. Phone number
  5. Email address
  6. Watch your email for a message from Staples and follow the instructions to complete your account set-up
  7. Place your order for the contracted/pre-approved office supplies

 

Foth Office Reentry:  Still Waiting…

The COVID-19 spreading risk continues to shift into the Midwest, and Wisconsin in particular is “hot” right now (see map from mid-September below).  In most other areas of the country where Foth has offices, the spreading risk has not dropped to “green”.  There is still significant uncertainty around when a safe and effective vaccine will be broadly available (it’s hard to know who to believe on this!).  As a result, we aren’t able to provide any updates on when more Foth members will be able to return to our offices en masse.

(source:  GlobalEpidemics.org)

Thanks for your continued attentiveness to this and previous Member Alerts.  If you have any questions or would like to see me address a particular topic, please let me know.

And even in this ongoing COVID environment, I hope you have a safe and happy weekend!

Travis McGrath


Friday, September 11, 2020, 10:10 a.m.

Remember 6:15 to Avoid COVID-19

Hello, Foth members –

As the country continues to reopen, and opportunities to reconnect socially increase, please be reminded that social distancing is key to avoiding infection!

In particular, preventing “close contact” with others is critical to reducing COVID-19 transmission.  For COVID-19, the CDC defines close contact as being within 6’ of another person for at least 15 minutes.  So to avoid being in close contact, please keep 6:15 in mind:  don’t remain within 6 feet of another person for 15 minutes or longer when in the workplace or other public spaces.

Foth has adopted the 6:15 CDC guideline as it pertains to our illness reporting, contact tracing, and quarantine protocol.  This means that if you are exposed to COVID-19, or contract the virus, our contact tracing process will focus on those with whom you’ve had close contact.  Members who have been in close contact with an individual who has either tested positive for COVID-19, is showing symptoms of COVID-19, or is being tested/awaiting test results due to symptoms of COVID-19, will be required to quarantine.  If the close contact tests positive, members will be required to quarantine for a period of 14 days* from time of last exposure to the close contact, OR until the member tests negative.  If the close contact is awaiting test results, members will be required to quarantine until the close contact tests negative, OR until the member tests negative. *If the member is in the same household as the close contact, the quarantine period may run as long as 24 days.  While remaining more than 6′ from others provides no guarantee to avoid contracting COVID-19, science has shown that the likelihood is significantly reduced at greater distances.

Likewise, the CDC continues to recommend that cloth face coverings be worn in public settings around people who don’t live in your household and when you can’t stay 6 feet away from others, as masks are known to help stop the spread of COVID-19 to others.  For this reason, as well as to be compliant with various local health ordinances, Foth has adopted the practice wearing face coverings when in the workplace, other than in your personal workspace.

Please keep the above in mind, and think 6:15 as you venture out.  Thanks for doing your part to safeguard your health as well as the health of those around you.  Thanks also for your attentiveness to this and previous Member Alerts.

Enjoy the weekend, and be well!

Travis McGrath


Thursday, September 10, 2020, 9:14 p.m.


Wednesday, September 2, 2020, 4:50 p.m.


Friday, August 28, 2020, 10:49 a.m.

Operational Measures

Foth members,

As we continue to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 for our members and clients, our focus on solving our clients’ toughest science and engineering challenges is driving better than anticipated results.  Given our performance through Period 8, along with our current forecast for the remainder of quarters 3 and 4, we will be extending through the end of period 11 (October 30), our current Operational Measures, as follows:

  • Quarter three Variable Pay distributions for senior staff will be based on normal Business Unit Leader decisions.  We have no current plans to change this for quarter four.
  • Investments in external training, conferences, new professional association requests, and new tuition aid requests will continue to be business unit decisions.
  • While our recruiting efforts will carry on, we will continue to limit new hires wherever practical. However, COO pre-approval of select, critical hiring needs brought forward by each business unit will no longer be required.
  • RCMs across Foth will continue to look for opportunities to utilize available members, where skill sets align.  Our One Foth goal is to stay focused on delivering high-quality work products and serving clients across all business units.
  • The COVID-19 assignment will remain available for all members, subject to specific BU practices with regard to time reporting, with the exception of those in Temporary status (who will continue to be paid only for hours worked).  However, regular full-time members, who have no/limited work due to COVID-19, and who have not already used or donated time-off in accordance with the table below, will be required to utilize PTO (or any accrued purchased time-off) to remain eligible for the COVID-19 assignment. Please see below for details.

 

Please remember that at the end of 2020, we will be eliminating our practice of paying out PTO in excess of 184 at year-end.  Instead, any hours in excess of 184 at year-end will be moved to our leave sharing account (for use by those in need).  Please plan accordingly for your PTO use throughout the year if you wish to avoid excess carryover.

LEAVE SHARING DONATION:  The outpouring of PTO donations to our leave sharing account has been tremendous.  The PTO donated enabled over 5000 hours of leave to be shared with members who had less than typical workload.  We are now at the point where almost all of the donated leave had been exhausted.  If at any time you wish to donate PTO to the leave sharing account, please email Nicole Gear.

 Again, the measures outlined above will be in place through October 30 (end of P11), which is our next operating window.  Our strategy of looking at these windows has allowed us to react quickly given the evolving impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on our business; and with the recent case surges around the country, it is prudent to continue this practice.  Throughout the entire process, retaining the great talent we have in our organization has been and will remain a central focus.

Concurrent with the above operational measures, as of July 20, twelve local offices will have been made available for Wave 1 members.  Four other local offices will be made available once the need for Wave 1 members to reenter is determined by Business Unit Leaders.  Only our Duluth, Minneapolis, and Novato local offices remain unavailable for reentry due to local health orders.  In light of the ongoing prevalence of COVID-19, our reopening plan will continue to be implemented in a phased and gradual manner, in coordination with local health orders, compliance with CDC guidelines, and keeping the health and safety of our members a priority.

Thanks for your continued attentiveness to this and all other Member Alerts.  Should you have any questions on the above, please contact me, or your respective business unit Operations Leader.

Wishing you and yours continued good health,

John Parisi


Thursday, August 27, 2020, 8:03 p.m.


Friday, August 21, 2020, 1:57 p.m.

Updates and Reminders

As we wrap up another week, here’s an update on a few COVID-related items.

MEMBER ALERTS SITE

After more than five months of video messages and emails, the string of past information on the Member Alerts site was getting quite long.  We’ve updated the site in order to keep the most current information readily accessible.  If you haven’t checked out the site for some time, please do so.  Please also keep in mind that the Workplace Safety Practices document is kept current with any updates/changes to our practices, so please reference the “live” version on the site.

FOTH OFFICE REENTRY: TIMING FOR FUTURE WAVES

While members in the pilot group and wave 1 continue to be approved to work in offices that are available, we are not yet ready to have Foth members return all at once on a regular basis.  We have previously described that the reentry date for additional members will likely be based on two conditions:  (1) acceptable COVID-19 “spreading risk” near Foth local offices, and/or (2) widespread availability (and uptake) of a COVID-19 vaccine.  Based on data from GlobalEpidemics.org, the “spreading risk” in areas of Foth local offices is no better in August than it was in July (please see maps below).  Likewise, widespread availability of a vaccine is still reported to be between 5 and 18 months away.  We will continue to monitor these two conditions in making decisions regarding reentry for additional members.  In the meantime, for some offices we may be able to accommodate some additional members in wave 1.  So if you are not currently part of the pilot or wave 1 groups, but need access to a Foth local office, please contact your RCM for an approval/access letter (for occasional/intermittent access) or to request to be added to wave 1 (if you need more regular access).

DAILY MEMBER WELLNESS SURVEY

On days where you will be traveling for business or entering any workplace (office, client/supplier facility, or job site), please remember to complete our Member Wellness Survey.  The exception to this requirement is if you are required to complete a similar survey to enter a client/supplier facility or job site.  In those cases, please complete the client/supplier survey instead of the Foth survey.  As a reminder, a link to the Member Wellness Survey can be accessed from the Member Alerts site.

CDC UPDATED GUIDANCE ON USE OF FACE COVERINGS

The CDC has provided updated guidance on the use and types of face coverings.  The detailed update can be found here, and is summarized as follows:

  • The purpose of masks is to keep respiratory droplets from reaching others to aid with source control.
  • Masks with one-way valves or vents allow air to be exhaled through a hole in the material, which can result in expelled respiratory droplets that can reach others.  This type of mask does not prevent the person wearing the mask from transmitting COVID-19 to others. Therefore, CDC does not recommend using masks for source control if they have an exhalation valve or vent.
  • A face shield is primarily used for eye protection for the person wearing it.  At this time, it is not known what level of protection a face shield provides to people nearby from the spray of respiratory droplets from the wearer. There is currently not enough evidence to support the effectiveness of face shields for source control. Therefore, CDC does not currently recommend use of face shields as a substitute for masks.
  • N95 masks are critical supplies that should continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders.

Please let Chris Seider or me know if you have any questions regarding either the updates/reminders listed above or other COVID-19 related matters.  Thanks for your attentiveness to this and previous Member Alerts.

Have a safe and enjoyable weekend,

Travis McGrath


Thursday, August 13, 2020, 3:55 p.m.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020 8:31 p.m.


Friday, July 31, 2020 1:18 p.m.

COVID-19 Member Alert for Wisconsin Members: Face Coverings in Wisconsin and Green Bay Office Closure

Hello Wisconsin members,

We have two late-breaking COVID-19 items affecting Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Governor’s July 30 Executive Order #82 and face-covering order

Yesterday, Wisconsin’s Governor issued an executive order declaring a public health emergency and an accompanying order requiring the use of face coverings.  After an initial review of both orders, we believe that Foth’s current Workplace Safety Practices satisfy the requirements* in the Governor’s orders.  The orders are “hot off the press”, so future clarifications or legal interpretations could change our understanding and impact our practices in Wisconsin.  If you have any concerns, please discuss them with your RCM.  And as a reminder, members are encouraged to work from home when possible.

* One exception:  we will no longer be able to issue a variance for face coverings in the Green Bay Training Rooms (reference the Member Alert from 7/24).

Green Bay Office Closure, Sunday August 9 through Wednesday August 12

As you heard from Randy in his video yesterday, Foth has been awarded a major project by ConAgra.  The project team, which includes Foth members, the client, and Foth’s contractors, is planning an essential in-person kickoff meeting in the Green Bay office on August 11 and 12.  To reduce the risks of COVID-19 transmission and a COVID-related office closure on the planned meeting dates, we are closing the office from Sunday August 9 through Wednesday August 12 to people who aren’t involved with the meeting.  Green Bay Wave 0 and Wave 1 members, please plan to work from home on those days.  There are exceptions for a few members, who have been or will be notified separately.

Enjoy your weekend,

Travis


Thursday, July 30, 2020, 5:10 p.m.


Friday, July 24, 2020, 11:30 a.m.

Flexing a Couple Workplace Safety Practices

As we continue to reopen offices and increase our presence on job sites and at client facilities, we’ve identified the need to flex a couple of our Workplace Safety Practices.  Please review the circumstances that may warrant such flexibility, as outlined below.

Our House, Our Rules; Their House, Their Rules

When visitors enter a Foth office/site, they are expected to follow our Workplace Safety Practices.  Likewise, our practice when working outside of a Foth local office has been to follow whichever practices are more stringent – Foth’s or the other workplace.  Moving forward however, when Foth members are working outside of a Foth local office (e.g., you’re at a job site or client facility), 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.  As an example, if visiting a client at their office, and their practice does not require face coverings in conference rooms where social distancing can be maintained, Foth members may choose to follow the client’s practice instead of Foth’s.  However, if at any time a Foth member does not feel safe in another workplace, the member should bring forth their concerns to their RCM, and the member will not be required to be in that workplace.

Variance Request for Face Coverings in Select Training Rooms

When working in a Foth local office, our Workplace Safety Practices state that meetings should still be conducted virtually when possible.  However, on some occasions meetings need to be conducted in-person.  And on rare occasions, the use of face coverings in those meetings would significantly hinder achieving the meeting’s objectives (e.g., giving a presentation; conducting an interview).  For those rare occasions, if the meeting is being conducted in one of four identified Foth training rooms and if participants will be socially distanced, the meeting organizer may request a variance to conduct the meeting without using face coverings by completing the form linked here (it can also be accessed from the Member Alerts site).  Please note that such requests are to be the rare exception and will only be provided for select training rooms (as noted on the request form).  Exceptions are not being considered for conference rooms at this time.  Please submit requests to me at least 1 business day in advance of the meeting start so I have time to review the request and follow up.

Thanks for your continued attention to this and other Member Alerts.  Should you have any questions, please contact me.

Enjoy your weekend!

Travis McGrath


Friday, July 17, 2020, 12:40 p.m.

Operational Measures

As we continue to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 for our members and clients, our One Foth culture and values are driving better than anticipated results.  Given our performance through Period 7, along with our current forecast for the remainder of quarters 3 and 4, we will be extending through the end of quarter 3 (September 4), our current Operational Measures, as follows:

  • Quarter two Variable Pay senior staff member distributions were made based on normal Business Unit Leader decisions.  We have no current plans to change this for quarter three.
  • Investments in external training, conferences, new professional association requests, and new tuition aid requests will continue to be business unit decisions.
  • Previously deferred external costs, planned to enable the delivery of a number of our strategic and “must do” projects, have been made available for project execution (this includes the Deltek VantagePoint readiness project and the Internal DMI initiative).
  • While our recruiting efforts will carry on, we will continue to limit new hires wherever practical, requiring COO pre-approval of select, critical hiring needs brought forward by each business unit.
  • RCMs in FSS, I-Div, and E-Div will continue to look for opportunities to utilize available PS members, where skill sets align.  Our One Foth goal is to stay focused on delivering high-quality work products and serving clients across all business units.
  • The COVID-19 assignment will remain available for all members, with the exception of those in Temporary status (who will continue to be paid only for hours worked). However, regular full-time members, who have no/limited work due to COVID-19, and who have not already used or donated time-off in accordance with the table below, will be required to utilize PTO (or any accrued purchased time-off) to remain eligible for the COVID-19 assignment. Please see below for details.

Please remember that at the end of 2020, we will be eliminating our practice of paying out PTO in excess of 184 at year-end.  Instead, any hours in excess of 184 at year-end will be moved to our leave sharing account (for use by those in need).  Please plan accordingly for your PTO use throughout the year if you wish to avoid excess carryover.  If at any time you wish to donate PTO to the leave sharing account, please email Nicole Gear.

Again, the measures outlined above will be in place through September 4 (end of Q3), which is our next six-week operating window.  Our strategy of looking at these 6-week windows has allowed us to react quickly given the evolving impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on our business; and with the recent case surges around the country, it is prudent to continue this practice.  Throughout the entire process, retaining the great talent we have in our organization has been and will remain a central focus.

Concurrent with the above operational measures, as of July 20, twelve local offices will have been made available for Wave 1 members.  Four other local offices will be made available once the need for Wave 1 members to reenter is determined by Business Unit Leaders.  Only Duluth, Minneapolis, and Novato remain unavailable for reentry due to local health orders.  In light of the ongoing prevalence of COVID-19, our reopening plan will continue to be implemented in a phased and gradual manner, in coordination with local health orders, compliance with CDC guidelines, and keeping the health and safety of our members a priority.

Thanks for your continued attentiveness to this and all other Member Alerts.  Should you have any questions on the above, please contact me, or your respective business unit Operations Leader.

Wishing you and yours good health, and a continued safe and enjoyable remainder of summer,

John Parisi


Wednesday, July 15, 2020, 7:45 p.m.


Friday, July 10, 2020, 4:36 p.m.

Office Reopening Updates and Reminders

Good afternoon!  As we wrap up the week, please be aware of the following updates and reminders.

Offices Available for Wave 1 Members

As a follow-up to last week’s Member Alert, on Monday July 13 the following offices are confirmed to be available for Wave 1 members.  RCMs have notified those members who have been identified as Wave 1.

The status of other Foth local offices is as follows:

Additional reminders:

  • For offices that are available to Wave 1 members (first table above), members not in Wave 1 will continue to require an essential business letter for entry.
  • For offices that are not yet available (second table above), all members will continue to require an essential business letter for entry.
  • Our Workplace Safety Practices are in effect Foth-wide as of July 13.

 

Amendments to Workplace Safety Practices

As a result of input from member’s participating in the Green Bay and Des Moines pilots, we are amending our Workplace Practices as noted below.  Updates will be made soon to the practices document, training, and wellness surveys to reflect these changes.

  • Face coverings
    • Will no longer be required when in parking lots or moving to/from vehicles.  However, please be sure to maintain social distancing in these situations.
  • Business Travel
    • When approved by the respective business unit leader for business travel by car, only one member is to be in the vehicle.  Exceptions for more than one member per vehicle must be approved by the business unit leader.  If approved, face coverings will be required while in the vehicle.
    • All approved international business travel will result in a requirement to self-quarantine for 14 days upon return, before reentering a Foth workplace (Foth office, supplier site, or client site)
      • The only exception to this is any approved day trips (over and back on the same day) by car to Canada (no quarantine will be required upon return).
    • Personal Travel
      • Members who travel internationally or on cruise ships (domestic or international) will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days upon return.  Members are to pre-notify their RCM of their travel and coordinate quarantine that will be required upon return.

Visitor Protocol

With a number of Foth local offices being made available for Wave 1 member entry, please be reminded of our visitor protocol:

  • Preapproval by the respective local office contact is required for all visitors (suppliers, clients, employment candidates, etc.).
  • Prior to entry, approved visitors are required to affirm their wellness and be temperature screened.
  • Upon entry, visitors must wear face coverings, and their access/move­ment within the workplace is to be limited to the sched­uled conference room, workspace, and nearest restroom.

In all cases, it is best practice to notify the front desk/receptionists of any approved visitors so they can greet the visitor and help coordinate screening.

Thanks for your continued attentiveness to this and other Member Alerts.

Wishing you all good health!

Travis McGrath


Thursday, July 2, 2020, 9:00 a.m.


Wednesday, July 1, 2020, 4:21 p.m.

Hello Foth members,

This week’s Member Alert is being released earlier than typical, recognizing many members may be taking time off this week to enjoy a long holiday weekend.  Before you go, please read the following update on our reopening and a few timely reminders.

REOPENING UPDATE

Our near-term plan is as follows:

  • We will review the Workplace Safety Practices in light of feedback from the Green Bay and Des Moines reopening pilots.  Any updates will be communicated to all members, and the Practices will go into effect Foth-wide on July 13.
  • On July 13, for Wave 1 members, we plan to officially reopen all offices that are ready.  An office is “ready” if it meets all the reopening criteria:  1) members ready; 2) office ready; and 3) local stay-at-home orders and virus activity enable us to open the office.
  • Caveats:
    • Because COVID-19 is still very active, and in some areas of the country, resurging, on July 10 we plan to re-evaluate (and hopefully confirm) the July 13 planned reopening date.  The reopening confirmation (or delay, if necessary) will be communicated in a Member Alert on July 10.
    • Between now and July 13, the Green Bay and Des Moines pilot offices remain open for Wave 1 members.
    • Cedar Rapids never officially closed but is also subject to this official ‘reopening’ date, based on the reopening criteria.
    • Currently, the Minneapolis, Duluth, and Novato offices cannot be made available for reentry due to work-from-home orders.
  • By July 6, RCMs will provide notification to those members who are identified to be in Wave 1.
  • Although an office is made available for entry by Wave 1 members, we still encourage members to work from home and meet virtually whenever possible.

 

In the longer-term, we anticipate shifting the emphasis back to working from office environments.  However, because COVID-19 is still very active in many areas of the country, we cannot yet predict timing for when offices will be available for Wave 2 and 3 members.  We will keep all members informed as reopening planning continues.

COVID-19 TESTING

Please be reminded that for plan participants, the COVID-19 test is covered under Foth’s medical plan.  Please contact a UMR Plan Advisor (877-852-2545) or benefits@foth.com with any questions.

MEMBER WELLNESS SURVEY

Our member wellness survey, required by members each day they enter the Green Bay or Des Moines office, is hosted by Survey Monkey. On July 3, Survey Monkey will be down, so the survey will not be available for completion.  July 3 is a paid holiday for Foth US members, so it is unlikely members would be in the Green Bay or Des Moines office that day.  However, those planning to be in the office that day will not be required to submit the survey.

SOCIAL DISTANCING IS KEY

With the upcoming holiday weekend, please be reminded the CDC advises to avoid group gatherings and to maintain social distancing.  Preventing “close contact” is key to reducing COVID-19 transmission.  For COVID-19, the CDC defines close contact as less than 6’ in proximity for a duration of 15+ minutes.  So please keep 6/15 in mind – when in the workplace or other public places.

Thanks for your continued attentiveness to our Member Alerts, and your ongoing commitment to our safety-minded culture.

Have a safe and fun 4th of July!

Travis McGrath


Friday, June 26, 2020, 3:25 p.m.

Hello Foth members,

We are wrapping up the first week of our Workplace Safety Practices pilot in our Des Moines office, and the first wave of reentry in our Green Bay office.  Thank you to those who are participating in these activities. I look forward to reporting out on the learnings late next week.  I also plan to provide an update on our reopening timeline next week.  In the meantime, please take a few minutes to review the information and reminders listed below.

Fraudulent Unemployment Claims

During COVID-19, scammers are finding ways to take advantage of filing fraudulent unemployment claims, whether through false reporting or identify theft.  If you receive a phone call or letter asking you about an unemployment claim that you did not file, please notify Kristine Walker, file a report with your state unemployment benefits agency, and report the fraud with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).  Read more from the FTC about fraudulent unemployment claims and what you can do here:  https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2020/06/scammer-getting-unemployment-benefits-your-name

Social Distancing

One of the recommended ways to help prevent the spread of the virus is to maintain your distance from others.  In accordance with the CDC recommendation, and as per our Workplace Safety Practices, please remember to not congregate or linger in common spaces, and when using or moving through common spaces, please make every effort to maintain no less than 6′ of distance between you and others.  Likewise, when in your personal workspace, and talking with others who are outside of your personal workspace, it is important to be mindful of maintaining at least 6’ distance.  In most cases, someone standing just outside of your workstation will be less than 6’ from where you are sitting in your workstation.  Please take a few minutes to assess how far away someone would need to be in order to be 6’ from where you normally sit in your workstation.

Illness Protocol

Illness/contact reporting:  As always, please self-monitor for common symptoms of COVID-19 (e.g., fever, cough, shortness of breath). If you, someone in your household, or someone with whom you’ve had close contact* is experiencing symp­toms, please do not travel or report to the workplace. Instead, please notify your RCM and contact your health­care provider.

*As per the CDC, for COVID-19, close contact is defined as any individual who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to positive specimen collection) until the time the patient was isolated.

Self-quarantine/isolation and return to work pre-approval:  Please follow self-quarantine/isolation instructions provid­ed by Foth, our client, or your health care provider if you, someone in your household, or someone with whom you have had close contact has tested positive for COVID-19, or is suspected to have COVID-19. Please do not travel or return to a workplace until approved by Foth to do so.

Contact tracing:  When a member notifies their RCM of an illness concern, the RCM will contact Nicole Gear.  Nicole will then connect with the member to conduct an intake.  The intake will include identifying the names of other members, clients, and suppliers with whom, in the last 2 days, the member had close contact. Those individuals will be notified of their potential exposure and provided instructions regarding Foth workplace reentry.

Cleaning/sanitizing:  In the event of exposure at a Foth local office, cleaning and sanitizing will be completed in accordance with CDC guidelines. This process may take 24-48 hours to complete.

Thanks for your attention to this Member Alert.

Have a great weekend!

Travis McGrath


Wednesday, June 24, 2020, 3:35 p.m.


Wednesday, June 17, 2020, 8:47 p.m.


Friday, June 12, 2020, 2:41 p.m.

Update on Reopening Pilot

Foth members,

As promised, a report out on our reopening pilot is provided below, along with a few other updates and reminders.  Please review the information that follows, and don’t hesitate to reach out to me with any questions or comments.

REOPENING PILOT AND NEXT STEPS

  • The pilot reopening of our Green Bay office commenced on June 3.  Approximately 30 members participated in the pilot, following our new workplace safety practices.  Feedback was collected from RCMs and pilot participants, and was generally positive with a few opportunities for improvement.
    • Based on the overall success of the pilot, pilot participants can continue working in the Green Bay office as needed, and we will be inviting the rest of the identified “wave one” group of members to reenter the Green Bay office on June 22.
    • By end of day Monday, June 15, RCMs will be reaching out directly to the additional Green Bay “wave one” members to provide instructions on completing both the training on our workplace safety practices and the daily member wellness survey.
  • In addition, we have decided to conduct a second pilot in our Des Moines officeThis pilot will commence on June 22, with a target end date of July 2.
    • Members identified to participate in this pilot will be notified by their RCM, along with instructions on completing the workplace safety practices training and the daily member wellness survey.
    • A feedback session with the Des Moines pilot group is being planned for July 1.
  • As a reminder, members who are not part of the above “wave one” or pilot groups should continue to work from home, requesting prior approval from their respective operations leader should office access be required.  Although specific timing on other office reopening and member reentry dates is unknown, members should expect no less than a week notice prior to their scheduled reentry date.


MEMBER WELLNESS SURVEY

Our member wellness survey, required of “wave one” and pilot participants each day they enter the office, is hosted by Survey Monkey. On July 3, Survey Monkey will be down, so the survey will not be available for completion.  July 3 is a paid holiday for Foth US members, so it is unlikely members would be in the Green Bay or Des Moines office that day.  However, those planning to be in the office that day will not be required to submit the survey.

WORK TOOLS/EQUIPMENT

  • Members reentering the office, who moved work tools/equipment to use while working from home, are reminded of the following:
    • Please clean and reinstall tools/equipment back into your workspace.
    • RCM approval is required for requests for duplicate equipment for use both at home and in the office
  • Members in need of a headset to connect to virtual meetings from their workstation are asked to contact the Service Desk.
    • Members are also welcome to use their own headset to connect to a Foth-owned computer/device.
  • Given the expected demand for headsets as member reenter the office, and the limited supply, members who are no longer using a previously provided headset are asked to return it to the Service Desk for cleaning and redeployment.  Please contact Josh Smits to arrange for the return.


SAFEGUARD AGAINST COVID-19

Whether in the office or working from home, please continue to safeguard against COVID-19 by following these everyday steps advised by the CDC:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick, even inside your home. If possible, maintain 6 feet between the person who is sick and other household members.
  • Put distance between yourself and other people outside of your home.
    • Stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other people.
    • Do not gather in groups; stay out of crowded places and avoid mass gatherings.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others.
    • Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
    • The cloth face cover is meant to protect other people in case you are infected.
    • Do NOT use a facemask meant for a healthcare worker.
    • Continue to keep about 6 feet between yourself and others. The cloth face cover is not a substitute for social distancing.
  • Regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.  This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
  • Monitor your health by being alert for symptoms. Watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19.
    • If you experience symptoms, contact your health care provider and notify your RCM.

Thanks for your continued attentiveness to our Member Alerts, and your ongoing commitment to a safety mindset.

Enjoy the weekend and be well!

Travis McGrath


Thursday, June 10, 2020, 7:54 p.m.


Friday, June 5, 2020, 10:21 a.m.

Operational Measures

While COVID-19 continues to affect our entire organization, I remain amazed by how well our members have responded to the challenges presented.  Although not all business units have been affected the same, as an overall company we will fall considerably short on the delivery of our original plan for the first half of the year.  However, we have performed much better than expected when we began our operational measures in mid-March.  This is a direct result of the generosity of our members, the operational measures put in place, and favorable project performance.

Given our performance through the second quarter, along with our current forecast for quarter three, we will be adjusting our Operational Measures, beginning June 15 and effective through July 24, as follows:

  • Quarter two Variable Pay for senior staff members will be available for distribution based on normal Business Unit Leader decisions.
  • Investments in external training, conferences, new professional association requests, and new tuition aid requests will be returned to business unit decisions.
  • Previously deferred external costs that were planned to enable the delivery of a number of our strategic and “must do” projects, will be included in our quarter three plan (this includes Deltek VantagePoint readiness project and the Internal DMI initiative).
  • While our recruiting efforts will carry on, we will continue to be limiting new hires wherever practical, requiring COO pre-approval of select, critical hires in each business unit.
  • RCMs in FSS, I-Div, and E-Div will continue to look for opportunities to utilize available PS members, where skill sets align.  Our goal is to stay focused on delivering high-quality work product and serving clients across all business units.
  • The COVID-19 assignment will remain available for all members, with the exception of those in Temporary status (who will continue to be paid only for hours worked). However, regular full-time members, who have no/limited work due to COVID-19, and who have not already used or donated time-off in accordance with the table below, will be required to utilize PTO (or any accrued purchased time-off) to remain eligible for the COVID-19 assignment. Please see below for details.

It should be noted, the following measures, previously implemented, will not be extended:

  • Foth Steering Group members donated at least 48 hours each (8 hours per week for 6 weeks) to our leave sharing account.
  • Executive and Sr. Management (FSG) members took a temporary salary reduction for a six week period in quarter two – 20% for CEO, COO, CFO positons; 10% for other FSG members.
  • Offers to the majority of interns and co-ops scheduled to start in quarter two were rescinded.

Please remember that at the end of 2020, we will be eliminating our practice of paying out PTO in excess of 184 at year-end.  Instead, any hours in excess of 184 at year-end will be moved to our leave sharing account (for use by those in need).  Please plan accordingly for your PTO use throughout the year if you wish to avoid excess carryover.  If at any time you wish to donate any PTO to the leave sharing account, please email Nicole Gear.

Again, the measures outlined above will be in place through July 24, which is our next six week operating window.  Our strategy of looking at these six week windows has allowed us to react quickly given the evolving impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on our business; we believe it is prudent to continue this practice.  Throughout the entire process, retaining the great talent we have in our organizations has been and will remain a central focus.

Concurrent with the above operational measures, our reopening plan is being piloted in Green Bay and the initial results of the pilot will be shared by Travis McGrath next week.  Our reopening plan will be implemented in a phased and gradual manner, in coordination with local health orders, compliance with CDC guidelines, and keeping the health and safety of our members a priority.

Thanks for your continued attentiveness to this and all other Member Alerts.  Should you have any questions on the above, please contact me, or your respective business unit Operations Leader.

Wishing you and yours good health, and a safe and enjoyable summer,

John Parisi


Thursday, June 4, 2020, 3:43 p.m.


Friday, May 29, 2020, 8:31 a.m.

Reopening Activity

As we move forward with our reopening activity, please be aware of the following updates and reminders.

Pilot Reopening

  • The pilot reopening of our Green Bay office is scheduled for June 3.
  • Approximately 30 members, many of whom specifically volunteered, will be participating in the pilot.  This group will be engaged to provide feedback to help us shape our reopening of other local offices.  Thank you in advance to these members for your involvement in the pilot activity.
  • The pilot is intended to run for a couple weeks, during which time we will evaluate the effectiveness of our practices and make any modifications needed.
  • Following the pilot, as offices are determined to be ready to reopen, the business unit operations leaders will prioritize member reentry dates based on business need, keeping in mind those members who have specifically volunteered to return.
  • Although specific timing on individual office reopening and member reentry dates is unknown, members should expect no less than a week notice prior to their scheduled reentry date.

Workplace Safety Practices Amid COVID-19

  • The practices document was released last week.  If you haven’t yet reviewed the document, please be sure to do so.
  • The practices outlined in the document become effective at the local office level the date the office is scheduled for reopening. Prior to reentry, members will be required to complete training on the practices.
  • Until scheduled for reentry, members should continue to work from home as standard, request­ing prior approval from their respective operations leaders should office access be required.
  • Once a local office is reopened, members not yet scheduled for reentry, who have been authorized access to the office by way of an essential business letter, must also complete training to continue to access the office.
  • Local offices that never closed will also be scheduled a date by when these practices become effective, and members of those local offices will be required to complete the training accordingly.
  • Questions received from members have been compiled into a Frequent Asked Questions (FAQ) document.  If you have questions, this document is a good source for answers.  It will continue to be updated and accessible from the Member Alerts
  • With respect to being in the workplace, if you have a concern that you may be at higher risk for severe illness related to COVID-19, please contact your RCM.  As per the CDC, those 65 or older, or those with underlying medical conditions, may be at higher risk.

Local Office Access

  • Until you are scheduled for reentry, please continue the practice of requesting access letters to enter an office that has been temporarily closed – even after that office is reopened.  This will aid in contact tracing purposes in the event of an exposure to COVID-19.

Casual Dress

  • For the time being, and until otherwise communicated, casual dress will continue to be acceptable for members working in any Foth local office.
  • As always, please dress appropriately for the work you are doing each day.

Visitor Practices

  • As noted in the Workplace Safety Practices document, as offices are reopened, visitor preapproval, by the respective local office contact, will continue to be required.
  • Visitors include suppliers, clients, employment candidates, etc.
  • Prior to entry, approved visitors are required to complete a wellness survey and be temperature screened. Screening stations, with detailed instructions, will be set up in each local office.
  • If you are hosting a visitor, please be sure to notify them of this process ahead of time.  When your visitor arrives, you will be responsible to greet your visitor, escort them to the screening station, and verify their completion of the wellness survey (with no issues identified) and temperature scan (to confirm their temp is lower than 100.4).

Thanks for your continued attentiveness to this and previous Member Alerts.  I look forward to providing updates over the next couple weeks regarding our reopening pilot.  In the meantime, if you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me or your RCM.

Enjoy your weekend!

Travis McGrath


Wednesday, May 27, 2020, 10:19 p.m.


Friday, May 22, 2020, 7:36 a.m.

Workplace Safety Practices

Foth members,

As you know, our reopening team has been actively developing a plan for a phased reopening of our offices that have been closed and to reactivate travel that was suspended as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

I’ve had the opportunity to connect with many of you over the past two weeks to provide an overview of the practices we are implementing in support of our reopening.  As promised, a copy of the detailed Workplace Safety Practices can be found here.  These practices are intended to protect the well-being of our members, their families, our clients, our suppliers, and the communities in which we live and work.  These practices may evolve as our reopening proceeds; I will be sure to keep all members informed of any changes made.

Please review each of the practices outlined in the document.  Please direct general questions or personal safety concerns to your Resource Center Manager (RCM).  Please direct questions regarding office-specific practices to your respective local office contact (see listing included within the practices document).  We will compile a set of answers to frequently asked questions and distribute a link to that document to all members next week.

Thank you in advance for your review of the practices, and your continued attentiveness to this and other Member Alerts.

Please have a safe and happy Memorial Day Weekend!

Travis McGrath


Wednesday, May 20, 2020, 10:41 p.m.


Wednesday, May 13, 2020, 10:02 p.m.


Wednesday, May 6, 2020, 9:17 p.m.


Wednesday, April 29, 2020, 10:00 p.m.


Tuesday, April 28, 2020, 1:10 p.m.

Operational Measures

While COVID-19 has affected our entire organization, I continue to be proud of how well we have responded to the challenges presented.  Although not all business units have been affected the same, as an overall company, I’m sure it comes as no surprise that we are expecting to fall considerably short on the delivery of our original plan for the first half of the year.

As a result, as Randy communicated during his video message last week, we are moving forward with some additional operational measures through the remainder of quarter two (June 12).

As we considered various options to address our performance, retaining the great talent we have in our organization has been a central focus.  In order to do so however, we will be implementing additional measures beyond those communicated in March. These include a significant investment in PS, where we have experienced the greatest impacts due to COVID-19.

Here’s an excerpt of what was communicated in March:

  • Through May 1, members impacted by COVID-19, who are unable to work their normal hours or who have limited work, will be provided a COVID-19 assignment.  We will be reevaluating this practice for May 4 and beyond.
  • Quarter 1 Variable Pay for senior staff members will be deferred until the long-term impacts and duration of the COVID-19 situation is better understood.
  • Foth Steering Group members will be required to reduce their 2020 PTO by 48 hours each (8 hours per week for 6 weeks), donating those hours to our leave sharing account.
  • At the end of 2020, we will be eliminating our practice of paying out PTO in excess of 184 at year-end.  Instead, any hours in excess of 184 at year-end will be moved to our leave sharing account (for use by those in need).  Please plan accordingly for your PTO use throughout the year if you wish to avoid excess carryover.  If at any time you wish to donate any PTO to the leave sharing account, please email Nicole Gear.
  • RCMs in I-Div and E-Div will be looking for opportunities to utilize PS members on project work, where skill sets align.  Our goal is to stay focused on delivering high-quality work product and serving clients across all business units.
  • While our recruiting efforts will continue, we will be limiting new hires wherever practical, requiring COO pre-approval of select, critical hires in each business unit.

 

Starting May 4, and through the remainder of quarter two (June 12), we will be implementing these additional operational measures: 

  • Executive and Sr. Management members (Foth Steering Group-FSG) will be taking a temporary salary reduction – 20% for CEO, COO, CFO positons; 10% for other FSG members.
  • We will be eliminating or deferring external costs that were planned to enable the delivery of a number of our strategic and “must do” projects.
  • We will not be investing in external training, conferences, new professional association requests, and new tuition aid requests.
    • Exceptions allowed for CEUs needed for quarter two professional license renewals. Please contact Carol Cortez for low/no cost training options.
  • Offers to the majority of interns and co-ops scheduled to start in quarter two have been rescinded.
  • The COVID-19 assignment will remain available for all members, with the exception of those in Temporary status (who will continue to be paid only for hours worked). However, regular full-time members, who continue to have no/limited work due to COVID-19, will be required to utilize PTO (or any accrued purchased time-off) to remain eligible for the COVID-19 assignment. Please refer to the table below for details.
    • PS members – Please watch for a follow-up communication from Tom Hedge regarding additional time-off utilization or donation measures to help offset the more significant business disruption in PS.

Again, the measures outlined above will be in place through June 12, which is about as far out as we can reasonably plan at this point.  Beginning mid-May, we will be reviewing our forecast for the second half of the year.  After that activity is complete, we will have a better feel for how things will look after June 12.  Throughout the entire process, we will continue to prioritize the preservation of our talent.

Concurrent with implementing the above operational measures we are refining our re-opening plan.  It will be a phased process, implemented in coordination with the lifting of local orders, in compliance with CDC guidelines, and in keeping the health and safety of our members as a priority.  Once finalized, the plan will be communicated to all members.

In the meantime, should you have any questions on the above, please contact me, or your respective business unit Operations Leader.

Wishing you and yours good health,

John Parisi


Monday, April 20, 2020, 7:41 p.m.


Friday, April 17, 2020, 4:33 p.m.

State/Local “Stay Home” Orders

Recently, a number of “stay home” orders were extended and/or updated proclamations were issued.  Please be aware that as orders come through, they continue to be reviewed by our response team for how they may impact how we are currently operating or how they may influence our re-opening planning.  If there are impacts to operations in any of our local offices, members of those offices will be notified directly.

Foth Re-Opening Planning

As both Randy and I have communicated previously, we are working on our re-opening plan.  In the same manner in which we organized an internal team to manage our response to COVID-19, we have organized a team to plan for our re-opening.  The team is being championed by Travis McGrath, so don’t be surprised if you see messages regarding our re-opening coming from Travis instead of me.  We are still working a number of details, but please know that re-opening won’t be like flipping a switch.  Instead, it will be done in a careful, gradual, and controlled manner.  In essence, re-opening of our offices will look something like a reverse process of how we closed down.  Our planning is being mindful of the need to be compliant with state/local orders and keeping with CDC guidance.  Our planning also applies to field/job site work and associated travel.  Please stay tuned for more details as planning is finalized.

Thanks for continuing to be attentive to this and all previous Member Alerts, and your diligence in following practices that help to mitigate the spread of the virus.

John Parisi


Monday, April 13, 2020, 10:27 p.m.


Friday, April 10, 2020, 2:50 p.m.

Use of Face Coverings and Office Re-Opening Planning

FACE COVERINGS  

Earlier this week, the CDC recommended that everyone wear cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.  The goal of this new guidance is to help individuals who may have the virus, and do not know it (asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic individuals), from unknowingly transmitting it to others.

In accordance with the CDC guidance, Foth is encouraging the use of face coverings for all members working in an environment where social distancing is hard to maintain.  This is especially applicable to our members working in the field/at job sites.

In some cases, Foth clients are requiring the use of face coverings, in which case, Foth members will follow the client safety requirements.  Conversely, if the use of face coverings is not compliant with certain site safety practices, please notify Chris Seider.

Please be aware:

  • The use of face coverings does not minimize the need for physical distancing. Maintaining 6-feet social distancing whenever possible remains important to slowing the spread of the virus.
  • The cloth face coverings recommended by the CDC are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators.  Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.
  • We have ordered washable face coverings for distribution to members upon arrival.  We have also ordered disposable face coverings, however, inventory is hard to come by; we are doing our best to secure delivery as soon as possible.   In the meantime, members should obtain or make personal face coverings. Cloth face coverings can be made from household items (old t-shirts, bandanas, scarfs, dish towels, etc.).  Click here to learn how to make your own face covering.

For CDC answers to frequently asked questions regarding the use of face coverings, please click here.

OFFICE RE-OPENING PLANNING

Although most of our local offices are temporarily closed, I am pleased to share that we are beginning to plan for office re-openings.  There are a number of details to be worked to be sure our re-openings are done in a careful, gradual, and controlled manner, and in coordination with CDC guidance.  In the meantime, our offices that are temporarily closed will remain closed.  Please stay tuned for more details once planning is finalized.

John Parisi


Monday, April 6, 2020, 8:39 p.m.

Video Message From Randy Homel


Friday, April 3, 2020, 9:54 a.m.

Reminders, Resources, and Helpful Tips

As we continue to navigate new working environments and other impacts resulting from COVID-19, here are a some reminders, resources, and helpful tips…

Essential Business Credential Letters

Most all Foth offices are now temporarily closed due to State and/or local government orders.  If your local office has been affected, please be reminded that to access or work in the office, you must request an essential business credential letter from your RCMLetters are needed not only for working in the office, but also for stopping in at an office to check mail, pick up equipment or materials, etc.  It is important that we have a good record of members who have been in an office, in the event of the need to provide notification of COVID-19 exposure.  Likewise, some states are enforcing orders, which means a credential letter is required to be on the road, in an office, or at a job site.

Social Distancing and Cleaning Practices Continue

For those members who continue to work in the office or on job sites, it is important to maintain social distancing and keep up with cleaning best practices:

  • Hold meetings via Skype or phone, in separate workspaces, even if meeting with someone working in your same facility
  • Keep space between you and others; 6 feet or greater distance is recommended
  • Don’t shake hands
  • Wash your hands upon entering the facility and frequently throughout the day
  • Keep all work surfaces and common use areas clean.  Wipe down tables, handles, etc. before and after use
  • Do not share your workspace, materials, or equipment with others

 

NEW! One Foth Sharing – Quarantine Suggestions

Many members have been forwarding great ideas and helpful resources for both home- and work-life during quarantine.  Melanie Erickson has organized an information site as a place to share these suggestions.  Please take a look at the new site and share any suggestions you may have.  (NOTE:  You can find a link to the site on the left side of the One Foth homepage).

Cybersecurity through VPN

Have you heard about the Zoom-bombers?  Hackers have found a way to exploit self-quarantined, at-home workers by actively high-jacking and disrupting meetings, or more secretly “joining” virtual meetings and collecting critical company information for later use in breach attempts.  The best way to stop the hackers is to make sure you always create a secured connection by using our Cisco VPN (Virtual Private Network) technology, no matter what work you are doing, which application you are using, or what computer you are using (Foth or personal).  If you need help with establishing VPN, please go to the Service Desk website, email the Foth Service Desk at servicedesk@foth.com, or call the Foth Service Desk at (920) 496-6614.

In addition to preventing virtual meeting high-jacking, please be extra vigilant about cybersecurity in general.  Consistent with our cyber awareness training provided by KnowBe4, please be reminded to:

  • Be on the lookout for phishing emails designed to entice you to click on the latest information on Coronavirus protections or other great offers
  • Always err on the side of caution, especially when it comes to requests for money, store gift cards, or sensitive information; these types of requests, whether through email or text, are most often a PHISHING SCAM and often look like they are coming from a Foth leader
  • Do not open email attachments or click on links from unknown senders
  • If you have to use public Wi-Fi, be sure to verify the network to which you’re connecting is legitimate and secured through a password; avoid accessing any confidential or sensitive information from a public Wi-Fi network
  • Remember, your Foth PC is a company asset and should be used for Foth business only;  we strongly discourage having a company asset be used for non-business related activities

 

Using a Wired Connection

If you are experiencing quality or reliability issues working on your home wireless network, below are a couple options to consider (other than booting everyone else in your house off your home wireless network).

  • Use a wired connection by connecting a patch cable (the good old blue cord) to connect your computer directly into your router.  If you don’t have a patch cable at home, consider ordering one using our new Staples Office Supplies at Home Program. (Refer to the email dated April 1 or contact our supply chain manager, Mike Sprang at sprang@foth.com, for details.)
  • If you are unable to connect a cable, most routers today are dual-band rather than single-band routers.  A single-band router uses a 2.4GHz frequency band and is limited to one wireless signal.  A dual-band router uses two frequency bands – 2.4GHz and 5GHz –  which means you can transmit two simultaneous wireless signals, providing better performance.  Configuring the bands for how you want each to be used within your home wireless network will allow you to better manage and control all the wireless traffic within your household.

Ergonomics

On April 1, Chris Seider released our March Moment of Safety bulletin, which included a link to some great ergonomic recommendations.  Please be sure to review the tips and guidance to help make your at-home set-up as comfortable as possible.

Virtual Meeting Effectiveness

By thoughtfully considering ways to enhance the quality and effectiveness of virtual meetings, we can work to make them as productive as in-person meetings.  Here are a few best practices to put into practice:

  1. Have your cameras/video on turned on — the level of personal connection and communication is stronger when you can see another face and facial expressions.
  2. Find a quiet place with minimal distractions — to the degree possible, when conducting virtual meetings, have a separate workspace free from distractions such as pets, kids, noise, etc.
  3. Be aware of what’s in your background — keep it professional, especially when meeting with clients, suppliers, or other third parties
  4. Ensure light is in front of you and not at your back – to get the best video quality
  5. Present your best self – keeping your personal appearance as if you were meeting in-person
  6. Mute your mic when not talking – to not disrupt others with inevitable background noises

 

Not Liking Your Photo in Skype? 

If you are interested in updating your image, please follow these instructions, being sure to present your best self (as is noted in number 5 above).

Please Keep Calendars Current

It is understood that meetings and travel plans previously on calendars have been disrupted.  Please be sure to update your calendar and keep it current to reflect your availability.

Thank you for your continued attentiveness to on-going COVID-19 Members Alerts and Service Desk messages.

John Parisi


Wednesday, April 1, 2020, 4:26 p.m.

Office Supplies at Home Program

In support of many of us adjusting to our home office environments, we have organized a program with Staples, our office provider.  The program will allow members the opportunity to set-up an individual account so that office supplies can be ordered and drop-shipped to their home (with the billings directed to Foth).

If interested in participating in this program, here’s what you will need to do:

  1. Provide our Supply Chain Manager, Mike Sprang (sprang@foth.com), with the following information (which will then be provided to Staples)

a. Name

b. Address

c. Phone number

d. Email address

  1. Watch your email for a message from Staples and follow the instructions to complete your account set-up
  1.   Place your order for the contracted/pre-approved office supplies

Note:  the maximum allowable spend is $25 per member

We hope you find this program to be of value.  Should you have any questions, please contact Mike at mike.sprang@foth.com.


Monday, March 30, 2020, 6:05 p.m.

Best Practices for Bringing Your Work Day to a Close

The Information Technology (IT) and Applied Technology (AT) system teams have prepared the following best practices for bringing your work day to a close.  Please review and take action as appropriate.

  • Save all of your work to the appropriate Foth document management solution (ProjectWise, Vault, SharePoint, or file shares)
    • With members working from home offices, it is more important than ever to use our document management solutions so files are backed up and other members have access to your work
  • Close out of all technical applications in order to free up licenses for use by others
  • Log off of any remote desktop instances in use
    • NOTE: When logging off, please right-click on the Start button, then choose “Shutdown or Sign Out > Sign Out
  • Check your calendar for the next day’s activities and update your Skype status as appropriate
  • Close out of any remaining applications on your computer
  • Perform a restart of your computer to free up memory
  • Log back in and establish a VPN connection with Cisco AnyConnect
    • As previously communicated, leaving a VPN connection active overnight will allow IT to send critical updates to your computer
  • Leave the power source connected and lock Windows by using one of these two commands:
    • Ctrl-Alt-Del > Lock
    • Win+L
  • Oh, and last but not least…enjoy your “stay at home” time in whatever way works best for you!

Thanks for being attentive to these best practices.  If any questions, please go to the Service Desk website, email us, or call the Foth Service Desk at (920) 496-6614.

Foth Service Desk


Sunday, March 29, 2020, 8:18 p.m.

Video Message from Randy Homel


Tuesday, March 24, 2020, 10:50 a.m.

Government Orders, Workload Impacts, and Operational Measures

As we continue to navigate the COVID-19 situation, please be aware of the following impacts and mitigation measures.  Thank you for your continued attentiveness to this and other COVID-19 Member Alerts.

RECENT STATE/LOCAL “SHELTER-IN-PLACE” GOVERNMENT ORDERS

Over the last number of days, various states and communities have mandated shelter-in-place, lockdown, and similar orders to manage the impacts of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).  Foth members in a local office under an order will be required to work from home unless their services are deemed by the order to be “essential business.” The definition of “essential business” varies order by order, but in general, activities are incredibly limited.  In some instances, our clients’ operations are considered by the orders to be “essential business.” Foth members supporting such activities should work with their RCM to request an “essential business” credential letter to allow for travel to/from their home to provide such services.  (Members provided with a letter should carry it with them while traveling.)

While some Foth offices have not yet been impacted by an order, it is inevitable all will be at some point.  With that in mind, and if you are still working in a Foth local office, please be sure to take your work materials/equipment home with you each day, so you are prepared to work from home should an order be issued for your location.

MEMBER WORKLOAD IMPACTS

We understand Foth members have been impacted by the COVID-19 in a number of ways and to varying degrees.  Some members have had difficulty working normal hours due to childcare limitations; some have experienced workload impacts due to the work from home mandates; and some have experienced workload shortages due to clients limiting on-site visitors or delaying/cancelling projects.

FOTH COVID-19 OPERATIONAL MEASURES

In response to this ever-changing environment, we are implementing the following operational measures as we work through this situation together as ONE FOTH:

  1. Through May 1, members impacted by COVID-19, who are unable to work their normal hours or who have limited work, will be provided a COVID-19 assignment.  We will be reevaluating this practice for May 4 and beyond.
  2. Quarter 1 Variable Pay for senior staff members will be deferred until the long-term impacts and duration of the COVID-19 situation is better understood.
  3. Foth Steering Group members will be required to reduce their 2020 PTO by 48 hours each (8 hours per week for 6 weeks), donating those hours to our leave sharing account.
  4. At the end of 2020, we will be eliminating our practice of paying out PTO in excess of 184 at year end.  Instead, any hours in excess of 184 at year end will be moved to our leave sharing account (for use by those in need).  Please plan accordingly for your PTO use throughout the year if you wish to avoid excess carryover.  If at any time you wish to donate any PTO to the leave sharing account, please email Nicole Gear.
  5. RCMs in I-Div and E-Div will be looking for opportunities to utilize PS members on project work, where skill sets align.  Our goal is to stay focused on delivering high-quality work product and serving clients across all BUs.
  6. While our recruiting efforts will continue, we will be limiting new hires wherever practical, requiring COO pre-approval of select, critical hires in each business unit.

This is an uneasy time for everyone.  The above measures are intended to provide a bit of certainty to Foth members during such uncertain times.  As Randy communicated in his email last week, I too, am proud of how we’ve responded as a company.  I have no doubt we will continue to meet the challenges of COVID-19 in a manner that is in keeping with our One Foth Culture, values, and basic principles. 

If you have any questions on the above, please contact your RCM or Business Unit Leader. 

John Parisi


Friday, March 20, 2020, 4:50 p.m.

We’re In This Together

A Message From Randy Homel

Foth Members –

The last few weeks have been unpredictable and unimaginable.

Since news of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) threat first broke, our focus has been on protecting the health and well-being of our members and their families, effective coordination with our suppliers, consideration of our communities, and continuing to serve our clients. Education, preparedness, and communication have been key.

OUR RESPONSE

  • We’ve been actively monitoring guidance provided by the CDC, WHO, DHS, US State Department, OSHA, and other federal, state and local authorities
  • We’ve activated response teams – one focused on clients/projects and another focused on our members and internal operations
  • We’ve enacted self-reporting procedures in the event a member has symptoms, has tested positive or has been in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19
  • We’ve implemented social distancing practices, re-planned large group events, encouraged members to work from home, and dramatically increased our utilization of collaborative technology
  • We’ve limited travel, largely restrained to that deemed essential to serving our clients; we’ve also implemented 14 day office/job site restrictions for business and personal travelers returning from specific locations
  • We’ve restricted visitors, with approved visitors required to respond to an exposure declaration
  • We’ve amended our Foth medical plan to cover the COVID-19 test at 100%
  • We’ve emphasized the importance of cleanliness and hygiene, educating our members on COVID-19 and prevention best practices
  • We’ve instructed our members in the field to understand and adhere to our clients’ site practices
  • We’ve stayed true to our One Foth Culture, demonstrating our core values and basic principles in the face of adversity

 

While we are all experiencing a great deal of uncertainty, as the saying goes, “It is not about what happens to you, it is about how you respond to it.”

I am so incredibly proud of how we have responded as a company.  We are all doing our best to navigate something completely unknown — collaborating across all business units on how best to address the challenges we face. All of our members have had to improvise, adapt, and persevere.

Please remain attentive to the COVID-19 Member Alerts and be patient as changes continue to occur.  We’re in this together!  We must continue to respond as a One Foth team, remaining steadfast in our commitment to our Foth Family, and in our purpose of helping to solve our clients’ toughest science and engineering challenges.
Our hearts go out to those around the world who have been personally affected by the COVID-19 crisis.  Thank you for all you have done and will continue to do to keep yourself and those around you safe and healthy.

–Randy


Friday, March 20, 2020, 2:30 p.m.

Domestic Travel Only and 14 Day Restriction

Based on updated travel advisories released by the US State Department and Canada, Foth business travel is now restricted to domestic travel only. (This means US only for US members and Canada only Canada members.)

Please be reminded of the following:    

    • The Business Unit Leader is responsible for the determination of travel being essential and non-essential for their respective business unit.
    • All non-essential business travel by airline is discouraged.
    • Domestic travel, regardless of mode of transportation, to destinations reported as “focus areas” by local health officials, must be pre-approved by the member’s respective Business Unit Leader (even if it was approved previously).
    • Please notify Chris Seider of any personal international travel plans, including your travel dates, location of travel, and location of any layovers.
    • Members who have traveled internationally, or members who have been on a cruise ship, are asked to not report to their local office or job site, and instead, work from home for a period of 14 days following the trip.

 

For US members, this includes the Caribbean, Mexico, Canada, or any other destination outside of the US.  For Canada members, this includes the US or any other destination outside of Canada.

NOTE:  If after 14 days no symptoms have developed, and in the case of cruise ship travel, there have been no cases of COVID-19 reported on the member’s ship, members should feel free to return to their local office/job site (keeping in mind all Foth members are encouraged to work from home).  However, if the member has developed symptoms, or if cases of COVID-19 on the member’s ship have been reported, the member is to contact their RCM and to call ahead to their health care provider.  In the event the member is confirmed to have been in close contact with/or contracted COVID-19, a fitness-for-duty form from their health care provider must be accepted by Human Resources prior to the member returning to their local office/job site.
If you have any questions regarding the above travel updates, please contact John Parisi or your respective Business Unit Leader.  Other questions or any work-related concerns in light of COVID-19 should be directed to your RCM or a member of the internal response team (Nicole Gear, Terry Nelson, Holly Reineking, Chris Seider, Kristine Walker).

Thank you for taking action to keep the safety of yourself, your co-workers, your family, and your community a top priority.

John Parisi


Thursday, March 19, 2020, 3:30 p.m.

Reminders of Key Information

Working in the Field at Client/Job Sites

      • Stay in close discussions with the host/client on their rules; each client will have their own specific guidance related to COVID-19; it is critical we understand and follow their guidance while working at their site
      • When traveling, clean/sanitize frequently touched and hard surfaces in hotel rooms, rental cars, and plane (arm rest/seat/tray/screen)

Working from Home  

      • When using Skype outside of a Foth office, please choose the option “Use Skype for Business (full audio and video experience)” instead of “Call me at” 
        • When using this option, audio will be through your computer, not your phone
        • Use ear buds, plugged into the audio jack, to minimize feedback loop with the computer mic
        • If you have a built-in mic that works in the same port and gives even better audio quality when speaking
      • Tips for Working from Home (Thanks, Lea!)
      • Forward your calls from your office desk phone to your home/cell phone
      • THE SERVICE DESK IS YOUR FRIEND
        • By phone (920-496-6614) for critical issues/problems;  by email (servicedesk@foth.com) for all other requests

Managing Health

      • If you or someone with whom you’ve had close contact believes to have been exposed to COVID-19, please self-quarantine, notify your RCM, and contact your doctor regarding COVID-19 testing
      • Likewise, if you or someone with whom you’ve had close contact has contracted COVID-19, please self-quarantine and notify your RCM
      • It has been reported the severity of illness increases with underlying health conditions.  If you have an underlying health condition or other concerns related to COVID-19 and your work, please discuss with your RCM; health information shared will be managed in accordance with our privacy practices
      • In response to COVID-19, the Foth medical plan has been amended to cover the COVID-19 test at 100%
      • Prescriptions
        • CVS, the pharmacy benefit manager for Foth’s medical plan, suggests a 90-day prescription supply and early refills; contact CVS (caremark.com or 866-818-6911) to learn if your prescriptions are eligible
        • Most prescriptions are eligible for free delivery (even if you are currently using a retail option)
          • If filling through a CVS retail location, contact the location pharmacy to ask about delivery options
          • If filling through CVS Mail Order, visit caremark.com or call 866-818-6911 to order/refill your prescription
          • If you need to transfer where your prescription is sent, call your doctor’s office and ask for your prescription to be sent to the pharmacy of your choice
      • TELADOC (for Foth medical plan participants)
        • If you think you are infected with COVID-19, Teladoc doctors can answer questions about the disease, evaluate your risk, and advise you on next steps. The clinical team is trained on the latest protocols for local and national notification, testing, and management of people under investigation for the virus
        • Speaking to a Teladoc doctor can also be advantageous if your regular doctor’s office becomes overburdened
          • Request a visit by phone or video to talk to a Teladoc doctor (Teladoc app, www.teladoc.com or call 1-800-teladoc)

Travel Restrictions

      • The Business Unit Leader is responsible for the determination of travel being essential and non-essential for travel specific to their respective business unit
      • All business travel outside of North America is prohibited
      • All non-essential business travel by airline is discouraged
      • Airline travel to Canada (for US members) and Mexico requires pre-approval by the member’s respective Business Unit Leader (even if it was approved previously)
      • Domestic travel (for US and Canada members), regardless of mode of transportation, to destinations reported as “focus areas” by local health officials, must be pre-approved by the member’s respective Business Unit Leader (even if it was approved previously)
      • Report all travel plans, business or personal, to Chris Seider
          • Chris is tracking travel and identifying locations on the travel advisory list (posted to the Member Alerts site)
      • Any members who have traveled outside of North America or the Caribbean and/or have been on a cruise ship, are asked to not report to their local office or job site, and instead, stay home from work for a period of 14 days following the trip

Visitor Restrictions

      • Any visitors to the office must be pre-approved by the designated BU office contact
        • Basking Ridge- Frank Donaldson
        • Cedar Rapids- Jody Budde; backups Brian Harthun and Dave Kapler
        • Chicago- Tom Annett
        • Columbia- Dave Carpenter
        • Des Moines- Patrick Kueter; backups are Eva Green and Mark Smith
        • Duluth- Larry Kramka
        • Green Bay- Matt Walters (E-Div), Holly Reineking (PS), and Mike Mullenberg (FSS) and other general visitors
        • Kansas City- Brian Hanks
        • Lansing- Nate Granger
        • Louisville- Phil Clarke
        • Madison- Rick King
        • Marion- Susan Nilson
        • Milwaukee- Tom Ludwig; back-up Jeff Muenkel
        • Minneapolis- Karen Erickson; backup Chad Hofmeister
        • Newport- Scott Skuncik
        • Novato- Carey Parent
        • Peoria- Josh Gabehart
        • Springfield- Bob Kick
        • St. Louis- Scott Virtue
      • If a site visit is approved, visitors will only be allowed entry if they can answer “no” to the following questions (please provide these questions to your visitors prior to their visit):
        • Have you traveled internationally outside of North America or the Caribbean Nations in the last 14 days?
        • Have you been on a cruise in the last 14 days?
        • Have you had contact with anyone with a known exposure to COVID-19 (this includes someone currently awaiting test results or quarantined)?
        • Are you currently experiencing flu-like symptoms (fever, cough, respiratory illness, shortness of breath) or using fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicines (e.g., cough suppressants)?
      • If visitors are approved for entry, please limit their access (use conference rooms near entrances, no office tours, etc.)

Practice Social Distancing

      • Members are encouraged to work from home
      • Hold meetings via Skype or phone, in separate workspaces, even if meeting with someone working in your own local office
      • Keep space between you and others; 6 feet or greater distance is recommended
      • Refrain from shaking hands

Prevention Reminders

      • Upon entering your local office, and multiple times throughout the day, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
      • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol
      • If using common office coffee pot, put a paper towel around the handle before pouring coffee
      • Frequently clean your personal workspace and work tools (phone, keyboard, etc.)
      • If using any common areas, clean before and after use
      • Refrain from the use of other members’ phones, desks, keyboards, workspaces, etc.

John Parisi


Thursday, March 19, 2020, 8:30 a.m.

Additional Working From Home Info – Skype Meeting Audio Change

Skype Meeting Audio – Use Skype for Business (full audio and video experience) option

When connecting to a Skype meeting, we need your help to ensure enough lines are available for large meetings and for our customers to contact us.  The way Skype uses lines functions differently when you are in the office versus when you are outside the office.  Now that many members are accessing Skype meetings from outside the Foth network, each time someone uses the “Call me at” option, it uses an external line, versus an internal line, which has caused us to hit capacity during business hours over the past two days.

What do you need to do?

Going forward for now, when you access a Skype meeting outside of a Foth office, please choose the option “Use Skype for Business (full audio and video experience”), which is the default Skype integrated audio option when connecting to Skype meetings.  This integrated audio option does not use an external phone line, versus the “Call me at” option which does use an external line.  When you use this option, your computer basically serves as a phone – meaning you will hear the audio coming out of the speaker on your computer, and if you will be speaking in the meeting, you will be talking into your computer.

If you have headphones available, you can plug those into your computer to hear the meeting, versus the sound coming out of the speaker on your computer.

UPDATE TIP (thanks to Jeff Lentz) – We highly suggest you use ear buds to minimize feedback loop with the computer mic. Any set of ear buds can plug in the audio jack, and if you have a built-in mic that works in the same port that gives even better audio quality when speaking. Unless you don’t plan to talk, some kind of headphones or ear buds are very helpful.

More information on using this feature is available by clicking on the following link:  ‘Use Skype for Business’ (PC integrated audio)

Thank you for your assistance in freeing up lines.  We realize this is not ideal for everyone and you may not have used this feature before.  If you would like to test this feature with someone, feel free to set up a Skype meeting with Melanie Erickson and you can test using the Skype integrated audio.

For issues or questions, go to the Service Desk website, email us, or call the Foth Service Desk at (920) 496-6614.


Wednesday, March 18, 2020, 12:55 p.m.

Additional Working from Home Tips for CAD Users

CAD Users:

On March 17, we communicated tips and connectivity instructions for all members when working from home.  The following are additional tips/information applicable to CAD users:

      • Licensing – All licensing for our major CAD technologies is either server- or web-based.  Members do not need to borrow a license to work from home.
      • VPN – In order to access ProjectWise, Vault, V-Foth, and/or SharePoint, you will first have to establish a VPN connection with Cisco AnyConnect.  Refer to the instructions posted below on March 17.
      • Hardware – Please refer to the communication released March 17 regarding approval for taking equipment (monitors, docking stations, etc.) home.
      • Personal Computers – It is NOT recommended to use personal computers for work.  When using a personal computer, Foth has limited ability to support you if you encounter software or hardware issues.  Please use your Foth issued PC.
      • File storage – Please do NOT store files on your C: drive.  Continue using our file management systems as you would in the office (ProjectWise, Vault, SharePoint, File Shares – X:, I:, K:, J:, etc.).  Ensure you upload/save your work to the correct system each day.
      • Support – If you need help or have questions, contact:
        • Foth Service Desk:  (920)496-6614 for urgent needs or servicedesk@foth.com for general needs
        • Your respective BU Applied Technology system team member
          • I-Div – Blaine Buenger
          • E-Div – Dan Tilly
          • PS – Scott Virtue

Foth Service Desk


Tuesday, March 17, 2020, 2:57 p.m.

Working from Home Tips and Connectivity Instructions

With many of our members working from home, please be aware of the following list of tips and connectivity instructions.

EQUIPMENT

      • If necessary and approved by your BU operations leader, monitors and docking stations can be relocated for temporary use at home.  Please take note of the following expectations:
        • Notify the Service Desk of your request to bring equipment home.
        • If you bring equipment home and need to temporarily return to work, no equipment will be available for you in your cube or office.
        • Monitors do not have monitor stands available, so you will need to move the monitor arms and set up.
        • You are responsible for setup, take down, handling, and shipping that may be related to moving the equipment for home use.

 

GENERAL INFORMATION

      • Do your best to work from a location in your home that is as free as possible from noise and other home front distractions.
      • Consider ergonomics as part of your setup.  Remember to move around and stretch often.
      • Please be patient — you will be using your home and work internet services so at times performance may be sporadic.  With more people working from home, and families staying home and using various streaming and online services, we expect internet services to be sporadic.  We are doing our best to provide a reliable and consistent experience.
      • Save your work often, on the Foth network, not on your PC.  Doing this will assist with potential for loss of data concerns.
        • For Vault and ProjectWise users, please remember to check in your documents, based on standard work guidelines and procedures, to ensure updates are available to other team members.
        • Please refer to these instructions if issues using Vault.
      • LinkedIn has opened up some of their “working from home” learning courses, free of charge.
      • Here are some great tips posted on LinkedIn by Lea Hensel from our Cedar Rapids local office.

 

COMPUTER CONNECTIVITY

CONNECTING TO THE FOTH NETWORK WITH LAPTOP USING VPN

      1. Click the Cisco AnyConnect icon in the lower right corner of your task tray, and then click Connect.
      2. Enter your userid and password (the same ones you use to log in to your computer).
      3. Click OK.
      4. Click Accept when you see the message, “You are attempting to connect to the Foth & Van Dyke user Virtual Private Network.”
      5. After you’re connected, you should see a message that says, “VPN Connected to Foth Remote Access VPN.”
      6. Done!     (Windows 7 Only:  Refer to the Map Network Drives How-To if your network drives don’t appear.)

NOTEAt end of day, disconnect from VPN and reboot your laptop.  This will allow for a fresh start each day and will ensure any necessary and required software updates are provided to your system.

CONNECTING TO THE FOTH NETWORK/APPLICATIONS THROUGH THE MEMBER GATEWAY

      1. Access the Foth website – www.foth.com.
      2. Click Member Gateway in the upper right area next to the search bar.
      3. Enter User Name: (your Foth initials).
      4. Enter Password: (your network login password).
      5. Select Sign In.
      6. Once signed in, you can access your Network Drives and the One Foth homepage.  Use the One Foth homepage link to access Vision, Dayforce, and more.

NOTES: 

      • Some browsers may prompt you for log-in credentials after you click on the One Foth homepage link.  If so, then enter domain\user name and password.  Domain is fvd.
      • When accessing Deltek Vision, it will open two windows – Internet Explorer and the normal Vision window.
        • If you are prompted to log in to Vision, do not enter a user id or password, simply click the checkbox in front of “Windows Authentication” and click OK.

 

CONNECTING REMOTELY TO A FOTH PC via Member Gateway

      1. Select Foth Drives and Remote Desktop and select “Remote Desktop Connection”.
      2. Enter your Foth PC ID information in the Computer area.
      3. For example: M48D10.  If unable to connect by entering just the PC ID, then enter the PC ID followed by .foth.com (e.g. M48D10.foth.com).

 

PHONES/SKYPE

      • Leverage Skype capabilities to collaborate and share information:
        • Presence status in Skype allows you to easily determine if someone is available online or offline.
        • Instant message allows you to quickly send a message and connect in a less intrusive way.
        • Desktop sharing allows you to easily share and discuss content visually.
        • Leveraging Skype video and Skype calling is quick and easy method to connect either face-to-face or by voice.
      • When possible, consider using a wired or wireless headset instead of your PC microphone and speakers.  This will provide better quality for you and your participants, and may be less distracting for family members as well.
      • Check your voicemail often to ensure you don’t miss any important messages.

 

PRINTING

      • Leverage printing to your home printer if you have one.
      • If printing to a location MFD device, use secured print feature.  This will hold your print in a queue for up to 7 days and you are able to release the print next time you are at an office.
      • When printing to a plotter, please schedule an appropriate time to stop by the office and print, collect print, and leave the premise.  This will  ensure printer availability for others.

 

THE SERVICE DESK IS YOUR FRIEND

Contact the Service Desk by phone (920-496-6614) for critical issues/problems only.  Please use the Service Desk email (servicedesk@foth.com) for all other requests.

Foth Service Desk


Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Working in the field at client or other job site best practices

For members who are currently working in the field at client or other job sites, many of the best practices we have shared related to hygiene, sanitation, social distancing, and other personal practices still apply. However, we wanted to provide additional guidance that may apply more specifically when in the field or at a client/job site.

      • Stay in close discussions with the host/client on their rules. Each client will have their own specific guidance related to COVID-19. Itis critical that we understand and follow their guidance while working at their facilities/sites.
      • Avoid large meetings/gatherings of more than 10 persons wherever possible (meetings, tailgate meetings, etc.). Keep a distance of 6ft or more from others.
      • Minimize unnecessary visitors on job sites or in job trailers.
      • Clean all common spaces.
      • Please be extra sensitive to washing your hands frequently and avoiding touching your face.
      • If staying in hotels, be sure to clean/sanitize frequently touched surfaces (handles, TV remotes, coffee pots and pods, alarm clocks, etc.) prior to contact. Also, members may want to request to not receive cleaning service during the stay, and instead, self-sanitize the space.
      • Members should minimize physically dining in at restaurants, and instead, opt for takeout or purchasing groceries.
      • If renting a vehicle, and before getting underway, members should consider sanitizing hard surfaces (e.g., steering wheel, turn signal stock, gear shift lever, window and door actuators).
      • If utilizing air travel, members should manage their distance and adjacency to other passengers. Most airlines have dramatically increased access to hand sanitizers and members should utilize these frequently after touching common area items.
      • Keep hand sanitizer in your bag or briefcase.
      • Stock up on flu medication and bring it with you. If you do get sick, the last thing you want to have to do in an unfamiliar city is track down a pharmacy to buy meds.
      • Avoid handshaking. Try an “elbow bump” instead.
      • Prioritize a good night’s sleep over going out with coworkers. Sleep will help you stay healthy.

John Parisi


Monday, March 16, 2020

WORKING FROM HOME ENCOURAGED – VISITORS LIMITED

We are continuing to monitor the COVID-19 situation.  Recognizing the concern for community spread, social distancing has been encouraged.  In support of this practice, please be aware of the following two measures being put into place.

WORKING FROM HOME

Foth members are encouraged to work from home, whenever possible.  If you require special arrangements or have questions about working from home, please contact your RCM.

Please watch for a separate communication from the Foth Service Desk regarding tips for connectivity from home:

      • If you experience connectivity issues, please contact the Foth Service Desk at (920)496-6614 or email servicedesk@foth.com.

 

For those who continue to work in the office, please:    

      • Keep space between you and others.  6 feet or greater distance is recommended.
      • Hold meetings via Skype or phone, in separate workspaces, even if meeting with someone working in your own local office.
      • Wash your hands upon entering the office and frequently throughout the day.
      • Keep all work surfaces and common use areas clean.  Wipe down tables, handles, etc. before and after use with the cleaning materials provided in the office.
      • Bring your work tools (computer, etc.) home with you each day, in the event your plans change and you need to work from home.
      • Stay home if you are not feeling well.

VISITORS TO THE OFFICE

Effective Wednesday, March 18, 2020, we are taking measures to reduce the number of visitors to our local offices.  Please take action as noted below:

        • Use teleconferencing solutions (phones, Skype, etc.) wherever possible
        • All site visits must be pre-approved by your respective business unit Operations Leader or their designated site contact listed below:
          • All site visits must be pre-approved by your respective business unit Operations Leader or their designated site contact (below):
            • Basking Ridge- Frank Donaldson
            • Cedar Rapids- Jody Budde; backups Brian Harthun and Dave Kapler
            • Chicago- Tom Annett
            • Columbia- Dave Carpenter
            • Des Moines- Patrick Kueter; backups are Eva Green and Mark Smith
            • Duluth- Larry Kramka
            • Green Bay- Matt Walters (E-Div), Holly Reineking (PS), and Mike Mullenberg (FSS) and for other general visitors
            • Kansas City- Brian Hanks
            • Lansing- Nate Granger
            • Louisville- Phil Clarke
            • Madison- Rick King
            • Marion- Susan Nilson
            • Milwaukee- Tom Ludwig; back-up Jeff Muenkel
            • Minneapolis- Karen Erickson; backup Chad Hofmeister
            • Newport- Scott Skuncik
            • Novato- Carey Parent
            • Peoria- Josh Gabehart
            • Springfield- Bob Kick
            • St. Louis- Scott Virtue
      • If a site visit is approved, visitors will only be allowed entry if they can answer “no” to the following questions (please provide these questions to your visitors prior to their visit; visitors will asked to acknowledge the same prior to entry):
        • Have you traveled internationally outside of North America or the Caribbean Nations in the last 14 days?
        • Have you been on a cruise in the last 14 days?
        • Have you had contact with anyone with a known exposure to COVID-19 (this includes someone currently awaiting test results or quarantined)?
        • Are you currently experiencing flu-like symptoms (fever, cough, respiratory illness, shortness of breath) or using fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicines (e.g., cough suppressants)?
      • If visitors are allowed in Foth offices, please limit their access (use conference rooms near entrances, no office tours, etc.)
      • The Foth Supply Chain Management team will be communicating these changes directly to Foth suppliers

While we realize these measures are not ideal, we need to do our part to practice social distancing.  Fewer members and visitors in our offices will help to reduce the spread of the virus. Thank you for taking action to keep the safety of yourself, your co-workers, your family, our suppliers, and our communities a top priority.

John Parisi


Thursday, March 12, 2020, 4:46 p.m.

Additional Travel Policy Updates

The US State Department and the CDC have provided various advisories regarding travel outside of North America as well as travel by cruise ship.  As a result of these advisories, and in an effort to help safe guard our members, any members who, in the past 14 days, have traveled outside of North America or the Caribbean and/or have been on a cruise ship, are asked to not report to their local office or job site, and instead, stay home from work for a period of 14 days following the trip.  Members who stay home should work with their RCM to work from home as their job allows.  If after 14 days no symptoms have developed, and in the case of cruise ship travel, there have been no cases of COVID-19 reported on the member’s ship, members should feel free to return to their local office/job site.  However, if cases of COVID-19 on the member’s ship have been reported, and/or if the member has developed symptoms, the member is to contact their RCM (as well as calling ahead to their health care provider).  In the event the member is confirmed to have been exposed to and/or contracted COVID-19, a fitness-for-duty form from their health care provider must be accepted by Human Resources prior to the member returning to their local office/job site.

Prevention Reminders

With the safety and well-being of our members a top priority, please take action and/or be reminded of the following:

      • Upon entering your local office, and multiple times throughout the day, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
        • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol
        • It is especially important to clean hands after being in the bathroom, before eating, touching shared surfaces, and after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose
      • Frequently clean surfaces and work tools (phone, keyboard, etc.)
      • Refrain from the use of other members’ phones, desks, keyboards, workspace, etc.
      • If you get sick with fever (100.4°F/38°C or higher), cough, or have trouble breathing
        • Seek medical advice, being sure to call ahead before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room
        • Avoid contact with others
        • Do not travel
        • Notify your RCM
      • If you have underlying health conditions or other concerns related to COVID-19 and your work, please discuss with your RCM
      • Due to the rapidly changing nature of the situation, bring your work tools (computer, etc.) home with you each day, in the event you may need to work from home

If you have any questions regarding the above travel updates, please contact John Parisi or your respective Business Unit Leader.  Other questions or any work-related concerns in light of COVID-19 should be directed to your RCM or a member of the internal response team (Nicole Gear, Terry Nelson, Holly Reineking, Chris Seider, Kristine Walker).

Thank you for your efforts in keeping yourself, our workplace, and our communities safe.

John Parisi


Thursday, March 12, 2020, 9:05 a.m.

COVID-19:  Immediate Updates to our Domestic and International Travel Policies

As our response teams continue to monitor the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, our key objectives are to safeguard the health and well-being of our members, their families, and our communities, as well as being mindful of business continuity as it pertains to our client projects, our supply chain, and our internal operations.

At this time, the US Center for Disease Control (CDC) is characterizing the risk of contracting COVID-19 as low for the United States in total.  In the US, there are concentrations of the outbreak that are being addressed by state and/or local health officials.  Currently, the reported “focus areas” include Westchester County, New York; Seattle, Washington; and Santa Clara county California.  At the same time, travel advisories specific to COVID-19, in place by both the CDC and the US State Department, continue to apply to international travel to a number of countries.

To reduce exposure risks to our members, effective immediately and until further notice, we are taking the following additional measures impacting our domestic and international travel policies.

      • The Business Unit Leader is responsible for the determination of travel being essential and non-essential for travel specific to their respective business unit
      • All business travel outside of North America is prohibited
      • All non-essential business travel by airline is discouraged
      • Airline travel to Canada (for US members) and Mexico requires pre-approval by the member’s respective Business Unit Leader (even if it was approved previously)
      • Domestic travel (for US and Canada members), regardless of mode of transportation, to destinations reported as “focus areas” by local health officials, must be pre-approved by the member’s respective Business Unit Leader (even if it was approved previously)

 

While the company has implemented the above restrictions and approval process, we continue to rely on Foth members to apply good judgement as it relates to their personal safety.  Please refer to an assembled listing of tips and suggestions for travelers.  Although federal agencies are communicating a low risk for contracting the virus, each of us should weigh our personal circumstances.  As reported by the CDC, individuals over 60 years and those with underlying conditions (including lung, heart, kidney and immune issues), are at greater risk for severity.   If you have personal concern related to business travel, please contact your RCM.

The challenges of the COVID-19 outbreak are not unique to Foth, nor are they unique to travelers.  As communicated previously, we expect all members to engage in good hygiene practices, especially frequent hand washing with soap and water.  If water is not available, using alcohol based disposable hand wipes or gel/lotion sanitizers.  Please also routinely clean all frequently touched surfaces in the workplace, such as workstations, countertops, phones, door handles, etc.

Please also be reminded that if you are feeling ill, stay home.  Where appropriate for your role and if your health allows, please make arrangements with your RCM to work from home.  Likewise, if you need to be home to care for a family member(s), please talk with your RCM about possible work from home arrangements.  NOTE:  The CDC recommends that if you are sick with a flu-like illness, stay home until at least 24 hours after you are free of fever (below 100 degrees) without the use of fever-reducing medicines.

The actions we are taking as an organization are to minimize exposure and the associated risk of transmittal.  The response teams put in place will continue to monitor the evolving situation and provide updates regarding any additional policy updates or other actions being implemented.

If you have any questions regarding the above changes to our travel policies, please contact John Parisi or your respective Business Unit Leader.  Other questions or any work-related concerns in light of COVID-19 should be directed to your RCM or a member of the internal response team (Nicole Gear, Terry Nelson, Holly Reineking, Chris Seider, Kristine Walker).

Thank you for your continued attention and diligence as we navigate this evolving situation.

John Parisi

Additional Sources:

Center for Disease Control: www.CDC.gov

World Health Organization: www.WHO.int

National Institute of Health: www.NIH.gov


Friday, March 6, 2020, 1:07 p.m.

THIS INFORMATION DETAILS CHANGES FOTH IS IMPLEMENTING IMMEDIATELY AND OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION TO HELP KEEP OUR MEMBERS SAFE FROM THE SPREAD OF THE CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)

COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that can spread from person-to-person, or person-to-item-to-person such as door handles, coffee pot handles, etc.  Symptoms are fever, cough, and shortness of breath. The illness can be mild or, in some cases, very severe.  Promptly contact your primary care provider (call before you go) or Teledoc (if on the Foth medical plan) if you experience symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, coughing, shortness of breath).

If you or an individual with whom you’ve had close contact is found to test positive with COVID-19, notify your RCM.  Health information shared will be managed in accordance with our privacy practices.  If someone with whom you have had close contact, or someone living in your household has COVID-19, you will be required to stay home.

Foth has assembled an internal response team (Nicole Gear, Terry Nelson, Holly Reineking, Chris Seider, and Kristine Walker) that is monitoring the spread of COVID-19 as well as guidance provided by the CDC, the US State Department, and OSHA.  The response team will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and share any significant developments and further precautions Foth is taking.  Should you have any questions or concerns, please contact your RCM or a member of the response team.

Please also regularly visit the CDC website for further guidance.  Thank you for your effort in keeping yourself, your co‐workers, your families, and our communities safe.

Travel

If you are planning international travel for business or personal purposes, you must contact your RCM and Chris Seider before leaving to communicate the dates and location of travel, including the location of any layovers. Business-related international travel approval will be coordinated by Chris, even if your plans are already in place. For personal travel, we are simply seeking an awareness of your plans.

NOTE: Currently, there are no domestic travel reporting requirements or restrictions; business as usual at this time.

If you have any concerns related to business travel, please contact your RCM.

Prevention

    • If you are feeling ill, please stay home.  Where appropriate for your role and if your health allows, please make arrangements with your RCM to work from home.  Likewise, if you need to be home to care for a family member(s), please talk with your RCM about possible work from home arrangements.  NOTE:  The CDC recommends that if you are sick with a flu-like illness, stay home until at least 24 hours after you are free of fever (below 100 degrees) without the use of fever-reducing medicines.
    • While shaking hands is a common practice, please refrain from doing so.
    • Please refrain from the use of other members’ phones, desks, workspace, or equipment. If you must use another member’s phone, desk, workspace, or equipment, clean it before and after use.
    • Please do not bring in any food to share with other members (e.g., birthday treats, potlucks).  At this time, this does not apply to cafeteria service or individually packaged catered food (i.e., boxed lunches).

Randy Homel