Starbucks is no longer requiring its U.S. workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19, reversing a policy it announced earlier this month.
In a memo sent Tuesday to employees, the Seattle coffee giant said it was responding to last weekâ€™s ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court. In a 6-3 vote, the court rejected the Biden administrationâ€™s plan to require vaccines or regular COVID testing at companies with more than 100 workers.
â€œWe respect the courtâ€™s ruling and will comply,â€ Starbucks Chief Operating Officer John Culver wrote in the memo.
On Jan. 3, Starbucks said it would require all employees to be vaccinated by Feb. 9 or face a weekly COVID test requirement. At the time, Culver said it was the responsibility of Starbucksâ€™ leadership â€œto do whatever we can to help keep you safe and create the safest work environment possible.â€
In Tuesdayâ€™s memo, Culver said the company continues to strongly encourage vaccinations and booster shots.
Starbucks required workers to reveal their vaccination status by Jan. 10. The company said Wednesday that 90% have reported and the â€œvast majorityâ€ are fully vaccinated. Starbucks wouldnâ€™t say what percent of workers are not fully vaccinated.
Starbucks employs 228,000 people in the U.S.