Starbucks reverses plan to mandate COVID-19 vaccines for employees after Supreme Court ruling

Starbucks had required all of its employees in the U.S. to be vaccinated against COVID-19, but that has changed after the Supreme Court ruled last week to reject the Biden administration’s directive to require vaccines or coronavirus testing at companies with more than 100 workers.

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Starbucks’ Chief Operating Officer John Culver told employees, “We respect the court’s ruling and will comply,” The Associated Press reported.

The coffee chain is the latest large company to announce its vaccine policy in light of the court’s ruling.

Starbucks had required all employees to be vaccinated by Feb. 9 or submit to a weekly COVID-19 test, the AP reported.

Despite not requiring the vaccine, Culver told employees that it will still strongly encourage vaccinations and booster shots.

He also suggested that employees forgo cloth masks for medical-grade surgical masks, the AP reported.

Employees had until Jan. 10 to report their vaccination status with 90% doing so, the company announced Wednesday. It did not provide an actual number of vaccinated employees but said that “the vast majority” were.

Starbucks has 228,000 employees in the U.S.

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