Starbucks on Monday announced that its tens of thousands of U.S. workers must get a COVID-19 vaccine or undergo weekly testing to comply with new federal mandates.
The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) set a Feb. 9 date for large employers with 100 or more workers to require either full vaccination or weekly testing. The rule, among others, was announced by President Joe Biden on Sept. 9 as part of a controversial sweeping mandate to push the U.S. vaccination rate higher.
Starbucks Chief Operating Officer John Culver issued a letter to Starbucks employees that they have to disclose their vaccination status by Jan. 10.
“This is an important step we can take to help more partners get vaccinated, limit the spread of COVID-19, and create choices that partners can own based on what’s best for them,” Culver wrote in the letter to employees, dated Dec. 27. “If vaccination rates rise and community spread slows, we will adapt accordingly. But if things get worse, we may have to consider additional measures. For now, my hope is that we will all do our part.”
The Biden administration’s vaccine mandate for private businesses has faced numerous court challenges from business groups, companies, and Republican-led states. The Supreme Court is slated to hear oral arguments on the case on Friday.
Former Vice President Mike Pence on Monday said his organization filed an amicus brief (pdf) calling on the Supreme Court to reject the vaccine-or-test mandate for businesses.
“America is about freedom and the ability to make the best decision for your family or business, and Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate must be stopped in its tracks in order to preserve freedom, protect American livelihoods and businesses, and to safeguard our Constitution,” Pence said in a statement accompanying the filing.
Last week, the Biden administration urged the Supreme Court to leave intact the mandate, claiming that a 1970 law that established OSHA ensures that the mandate “falls squarely within OSHA’s statutory authority.”
Other than lawsuits, some business groups have warned that the OSHA rule, known as an emergency temporary standard, would create significant problems for critical U.S. industries, including trucking, amid persistent supply chain disruptions.
Outside the OSHA rule, Biden also announced a mandate for federal contractors, federal employees, and hospitals that receive Medicare or Medicaid funding. Unlike the private business rule, those workers do not have the option to submit to weekly testing.
Starbucks has not immediately responded to The Epoch Times’ request for comment.
COVID-19 is the illness caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.
Reuters contributed to this report.
From The Epoch Times