Starbucks Scraps Vaccination Requirement For Employees

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Starbucks has dropped its vaccine or weekly test requirement against Covid-19 for U.S. employees in the wake of last week's U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

The court, in a 6-3 vote, has blocked President Joe Biden's vaccine-or-test mandate for private companies with 100 or more employees. However, it allowed the vaccine mandate to stand for certain health care workers.

Starbucks Chief Operating Officer John Culver wrote in a memo to its employees, "We respect the court's ruling and will comply."

The coffee giant, which employs 228,000 people in the U.S., earlier this month had urged all its employees to get vaccinated by February 9, in accordance with guidance from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The employees who remain unvaccinated past that deadline were required to face a weekly COVID testing.

The company required workers to reveal their vaccination status by January 10.

Starbucks then said its leadership would do whatever it can to help keep the workers safe and create the safest work environment possible.

The company now said it would follow local requirements, and continue to strongly encourage vaccinations and booster shots. Culver said majority of the company's workers are now fully vaccinated.

Starbucks recently urged its workers to wear 3-ply medical masks at work, following the CDC's updated guidance, but not cloth masks.

Following the Court ruling, Biden said he is disappointed that the Supreme Court chose to block requirements that are life-saving for workers.

The President added, "As a result of the Court's decision, it is now up to States and individual employers to determine whether to make their workplaces as safe as possible for employees, and whether their businesses will be safe for consumers during this pandemic by requiring employees to take the simple and effective step of getting vaccinated."

Following the court verdict, General Electric and Macy's, among others, also suspended their testing and vaccine requirements.

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