Starbucks Cancels Vaccine Mandate After Supreme Court Ruling

FILE – A man carries a beverage as he walks out of a Starbucks coffee shop, Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021, in New York. Companies that would be affected by a Biden administration vaccine-or-testing requirement for workers remain on the sidelines while the Supreme Court considers whether the rule can be enforced. Since then, Starbucks has announced its own vaccine mandate saying in Dec. 2021, that all U.S. workers must be fully vaccinated by Feb. 9, 2022, or face a weekly COVID testing requirement. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

Starbucks will no longer require its U.S. workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19, reversing a policy it announced earlier this month.

Last week, in a 6-3 vote, SCOTUS rejected the Biden administration’s plan to require vaccines or regular COVID testing at companies with more than 100 workers. The Seattle coffee giant sent a memo to employees responding to the Supreme Court’s decision on Tuesday.

“We respect the court’s ruling and will comply,” Starbucks Chief Operating Officer John Culver wrote in the memo.

On January 3, Starbucks announced it would require all employees to be fully vaccinated by February 9 or face a weekly COVID test requirement. At the time, Culver said it was the responsibility of Starbucks’ leadership “to do whatever we can to help keep you safe and create the safest work environment possible.”

Now, Starbucks will not required vaccinations or testings but will continue to encourage vaccinations and booster shots.

After requiring all Starbucks workers to reveal their vaccination status by January 10, the company said 90% of the 228,000 workers reported vaccination status and the “vast majority” are fully vaccinated. It is not clear what percent of workers remain unvaccinated.

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