Starbucks requires its employees in the United States to get a weekly vaccine or test
Starbucks workers in the US will have to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by February 9 or they will have to undergo weekly diagnostic tests.
The Seattle-based coffee giant said Monday that the move is in response to vaccination or testing requirements issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in November for companies with more than 100 employees.
The requirement, which has faced numerous lawsuits, was approved last month by a three-judge panel of a federal appeals court. The Supreme Court will consider the application on Friday.
Starbucks has asked its 228,000 US employees to disclose their vaccination status by January 10.
“My understanding is that colleagues have a wide range of views on vaccines, as they do with the rest of the country,” said John Colfer, Starbucks’ chief operating officer, in a letter sent to employees in late December. “My responsibility, and that of all leaders, is to do everything possible to keep them protected and create a safer work environment.”
Starbucks explained that a full vaccination means two injections of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or one injection of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
If a Starbucks employee chooses to take the test each week, they will have to pay their own expenses and take the test at a pharmacy, clinic, or other place where someone monitors the test.
The company said religious or medical considerations would be considered, but that to work in a store, employees must undergo weekly tests.
Employees who test positive can use the paid time to self-isolate. Starbucks said it is offering employees two paid isolations, for up to five days each.
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