April 3rd Message from John Foreman, SFM President

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Staying in contact with SFM

We want to remind all employees that there are several ways to stay connected to SFM and our response to the COVID-19 virus.  If you have a question about how changes in SFM policy or new governmental regulations might impact you, please let us know.   
SFM COVID-19 website- A listing of all previous newsletters and resources SFM has compiled related to COVID-19 for SFM Customers. 
SFM COVID-19 Resource for Employees-  A listing of all previous newsletters and resources SFM has compiled related to COVID-19 specifically for SFM Employees. Emails to this address are directed to multiple members of the SFM office staff and they will respond as soon as possible in both Spanish and English. 
(615) 321-2037 - The SFM Office Number- Someone will be available to speak with you from 7am to 4 pm Monday through Friday.  If you are Spanish speaking you will be connected to a voicemail and a Spanish speaking member of our staff will be notified.

The SFM Response to Paid Sick Leave and Family Leave Acts

To comply with the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act) which provides employees with paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. This policy will be in effect through December 31, 2020.  SFM existing FMLA leave policy still applies to all other reasons for leave outside of this policy.
Pandemic Policy 2.1:  Paid Sick and Expanded Family and Medical Leave Policy

Política de pandemia 2.1: Política de licencia familiar y médica pagada y extendida

It’s important to know:

  • If you are subject to a quarantine, have been advised by a health care professional to self-quarantine, or are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and waiting for a medical diagnosis you are eligible to receive 100% of your wage for up to two weeks.
  • If you are caring for someone who is subject to a self-quarantine or if you are caring for your child whose school is closed because of COVID-19 you are eligible for ⅔ of your wage.
  • If you are caring for your child whose school is closed because of COVID-19 related issues you are eligible for up to 10 additional weeks of paid sick leave while receiving ⅔ of your wage. 

If one of these circumstances applies to you, please contact your direct supervisor or SFM Director of Human Resources so we can assist you in applying for this expanded FMLA program.  

In response to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act SFM has added the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Policy to our Pandemic Policy.  This is designed to
assist employees affected by the COVID-19 outbreak with job-protected leave and emergency paid sick leave. This policy is in effect until December 31, 2020.  Below is a link to the policy. 
Pandemic Policy 2.1:   Paid Sick and Expanded Paid Leave Policy

A Moment with Michelle

A message from Michelle Pederson:
Michelle is an ordained Unitarian Universalist minister and member of Spiritual Directors International. She has graciously offered her support and counsel to any SFM employee who would like to talk during this difficult time. Michelle will be a guest columnist for the SFM Employee newsletter for the next few editions.

Can you believe that it was less than one month ago that we were going about our daily lives when everything changed?  First, a tornado struck our city destroying homes and business and disrupting so many lives. Then, just days later, the first case of COVID-19 in TN was discovered. This virus has impacted every one of us, in both big and small ways. We learn something new every day and then try to make appropriate adjustments to our lives. So much change, so quickly. It can feel like the very ground is shifting beneath our feet. These are unprecedented times; we don’t have a clear roadmap to tell us what is going to happen next or how we need to respond. Instead, we are learning as we go and doing the very best that we can. All of us, everyone, is doing the best that they can under these unusual circumstances. You are doing the best that you can. As you go about your day, remember we are all in this together and we are all doing the best that we can. 

Being constantly alert to your environment, continuously making changes to how you are doing things, worrying about your own health and that of those close to you can be frightening and exhausting. Here is something you might try next time you are feeling stressed:

Take a deep, slow breath in through your nose. When your belly and chest are completely full, hold for a moment. Then, very slowly exhale. Completely empty your chest and belly.  Repeat several times.

Sometimes it is helpful to talk with someone, a trusted friend, your religious leader, therapist or someone else. For those who are interested, Rev. Michelle Pederson is an additional resource for spiritual care for all SFM employees. If you would like to talk to her you can either email to set up a time convenient to you or give her a call at (615) 601-1687.

Safer at Home AND at Work

The Safer at Home Order was first announced on March 22, 2020 by Mayor Cooper.  Since then Governor Bill Lee has expanded the order to take effect statewide. Yesterday, Governor Lee reinforced the critical importance of the Safer at Home Order for all Tennesseeians as a vital tool in combating the spread of COVID-19.  

Certainly SFM plays our own essential role during this COVID-19 crisis and it’s necessary for our employees to be mobile.  But, we must be clear that SFM is in full support of the Safer at Home order and strongly encourages our employees to only leave their home for the most essential tasks.  Even during those times away from your home please exercise caution by maintaining at least a 6 foot distance from others.  

COVID-19 Testing Sites in Middle Tennessee

If you are experiencing symptoms related to COVID-19 such as a new cough, fever, shortness of breath, or flu-like illness you should seek the advice of a healthcare professional.  Your medical provider will offer specific advice and steps to follow. 
If it’s determined that you should be tested for COVID-19, at this time there appears to be two main resources available.  The state of Tennessee has a list of COVID-19 Assessment Sites. This a list of assessment sites for all the counties in Tennessee. Follow the instructions to call ahead for the county that applies to you.    If you are in Metro Davidson County, they have launched a Community Assessment System.  There is a Hotline (615.862.7777) that residents must call first in order to receive an initial assessment by a public health professional.  The hotline will operate from 7 am to 7 pm seven days a week.  Both Spanish and English operators will be available.


MDLIVE Telemed continues to be a great resource for those seeking personalized medical advice without having to leave home.

This benefit is usually only open to full-time employees for enrollment in October, but we are reopening enrollment to this benefit until April 30, 2020.  If you are not already enrolled in this benefit, consider enrolling. More information about enrollment is available here.

Even before you call MDLIVE there are valuable resources on their website such as this list of frequently asked questions about the COVID-19 virus

Notes From The Field

As local businesses learn to adapt to the impact of the COIVD-19 virus and “Safer at Home” orders there are varied responses.  For example, some businesses are only allowing a certain number of shoppers in the store at a time and others are only allowing call in orders.  The SFM roaming technician division is being impacted. SFM has compiled a list from reports from those in the field about how specific businesses are making adjustments.  To quote Jimmy Kincaid, “Plan Accordingly.”  

Here is a link to the current list.  Please let Ryan Brant, know if you learn information that might benefit your fellow technicians.

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