Starbucks Drops Vaccine Mandate in Response to Supreme Court Ruling

Starbucks is no longer enforcing COVID-19 vaccination for its U.S. employees, reversing a plan announced earlier this month.

The Seattle coffee company said it was responding to the US Supreme Court’s verdict last week in a message issued to staff on Tuesday. The Biden administration’s idea to impose immunizations or regular COVID testing for enterprises with more than 100 employees was rejected by the court in a 6-3 decision.

Starbucks Chief Operating Officer John Culver stated in the message, “We respect the court’s order and will comply.”

Starbucks’ decision is one of the most high-profile business responses to the Supreme Court’s decision. In the United States, the corporation employs 228,000 employees.

According to IUE-CWA Local 201, a union that represents machinists, electricians, and other GE employees, the company’s vaccination mandate was also stopped last week. GE, which employs 56,000 people in the United States, had originally requested that staff be completely vaccinated by February 11th.

Other businesses, on the other hand, have maintained their requirements in place. Citigroup Inc., one of the country’s top banks, declared in October that employees must be vaccinated or get accommodations by January 14. headquartered in New York According to Citi, 99 percent of its staff have cooperated thus far.

Carhartt, a workwear company, likewise adhered to its vaccination policy. The Dearborn, Michigan-based firm, which employs 3,000 people in the United States, notified staff in an email last Friday that the Supreme Court’s ruling would have no bearing on its own mandate, which took effect this month.

“Carhartt fully recognizes and respects the diversity of viewpoints on this subject, and we are aware that some of our associates oppose our policy.” “However, we stand by our decision since we feel immunizations are required to safeguard our employees,” the business stated.

The “great majority” of Carhartt employees have received immunizations, according to the company. Some medical or religious exemptions have also been given by the firm.

As the case progressed through the courts, some major corporations, such as Target and McDonald’s, remained silent about their immunization intentions for frontline workers. Many businesses, faced with labor shortages, have been hesitant to impose conditions on employees who may choose to leave.

The consulting firm Willis Towers Watson conducted a study of more than 500 U.S. corporations in November and found that just 3% of those with vaccination obligations had noticed an increase in resignations. However, about a third of those with planning obligations expressed fear that the rules would force staff to depart. On the other side, over half of the companies polled thought that mandating vaccinations will help them recruit and retain workers.

Starbucks said on January 3 that all employees must get vaccinated by February 9 or face a weekly COVID test, citing the Biden administration’s requirements. Culver stated at the time that it was Starbucks’ leadership’s obligation “to do anything we can to assist keep you safe and create the safest work environment possible.”

Culver said in his memo on Tuesday that the firm continues to vigorously promote immunizations and booster doses. Workers were also instructed on Tuesday that they should not use cotton masks to work and should instead use the company’s medical-grade surgical masks.

By the 10th of January, Starbucks employees were expected to declare their vaccination status. According to the firm, 90 percent have reported and the “great majority” have been properly vaccinated. Starbucks wouldn’t specify how many of its employees aren’t completely immunized.

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