Starbucks says will no longer require vaccine or testing for employees

The mega-chain's reversal comes after last week's Supreme Court ruling that blocked the Biden administration's mandate

Updated: January 19, 2022 - 2:57pm

Starbucks has opted to do away with its COVID-19 vaccine requirement following a decision last week by the Supreme Court that blocked the Biden administration's attempt to mandate vaccine requirements for large U.S. companies.

"We respect the court’s ruling and will comply," John Culver, chief operating officer for the major coffee shop chain, said Tuesday.

The company will continue to encourage employees to get vaccinated, but the shots will not be a requisite of employment.

The "vaccine is the best option we have, by far, when it comes to staying safe and slowing the spread of COVID-19," Culver also said, in a memo.

Prior to the court's decision, Starbuck's announced it would be enforcing a vaccine-or-test model for the company's 220,000 U.S. employees. 

Last week, the high court, in a 6-3 decision, blocked the Biden administration's mandate for large employers from taking effect while other legal challenges to the mandate play out in lower courts.