Jan 19, 2022 - Economy

Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling

Starbucks store

Photo: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Starbucks has dropped plans to require that U.S. workers get the COVID vaccine or submit to weekly testing, the company announced Tuesday in a memo to employees.

Why it matters: The company's decision comes in response to the Supreme Court's ruling last week to block the Biden administration's COVID-19 vaccine-or-test requirement for large employers.

State of play: “We respect the court’s ruling,” John Culver, Starbucks' chief operating officer, wrote in the memo, seen by Axios.

  • Culver said the company continues to encourage workers to get vaccinated and boosted against the virus, and to disclose their vaccination status. It will also continue providing benefits that such as self-isolation pay and vaccine pay.
  • "Thank you to the more than 90 percent of partners who have already disclosed their vaccination status, and to the vast majority who are now fully vaccinated," Culver added.

The big picture: The Supreme Court's decision to block the vaccine mandate for large employers has led to mixed responses from companies.

  • In an email to employees the day after the Supreme Court, apparel company Carhartt said that vaccines would remain mandatory, the Washington Post reported.
  • Citigroup is also standing by its vaccine mandate for employees, while General Electric will not, per the Wall Street Journal.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with additional details throughout.

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