Starbucks Drops COVID Vaccine and Testing Requirements for Employees After Supreme Court Ruling

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Grande Starbucks to go cup on table
Grande Starbucks to go cup on table

Getty Images

Coronavirus vaccines and weekly testing are no longer on the menu of requirements for Starbucks employees in the U.S.

On Tuesday, the coffee chain told its staff of 228,000 that they are no longer required to be fully vaccinated or receive weekly testing, according to The New York Times. The policy change follows the Supreme Court's decision last week to block the Biden's administration's vaccine mandate for large employers. This order would have required companies with more than 100 workers to ensure that employees are either vaccinated against COVID, or wear a mask and be tested on a weekly basis.

"We respect the court's ruling and will comply," Starbucks' COO John Culver told baristas in a memo, the Associated Press reported. However, the executive stressed that the café still believes in every preventative measure in the fight against the viral disease.

RELATED: Biden Administration to Distribute 400 Million Free N95 Face Masks Nationwide

"I want to emphasize that we continue to believe strongly in the spirit and intent of the mandate," he added, per the Times.

Elsewhere in the letter, Culver said that over 90% of Starbucks' U.S. staff have shared their vaccination status, with "the vast majority" fully inoculated.

Starbucks
Starbucks

ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images

RELATED: Starbucks Is Testing Out 2 Boba-Style Iced Coffees

A spokesperson for Starbucks confirmed the change to PEOPLE Thursday, reiterating that the company continues to encourage employees to get vaccinated and boosted. Workers will continue having access to self-isolation pay, vaccine pay, booster pay and side effect pay, they said.

In late December, the coffee chain told its U.S. staff that they had to get fully vaccinated by Feb. 9, or submit to weekly coronavirus testing, per the AP.

"I recognize that partners have a wide spectrum of views on vaccinations, much like the rest of the country," Culver wrote in a letter to employees, who the company calls partners. "My responsibility, and that of every leader, is to do whatever we can to help keep you safe and create the safest work environment possible."

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting