Starbucks says employees must get vaccine or test weekly

<p><p>Starbucks says its U.S. workers must be fully vaccinated by Feb. 9 or face a weekly COVID testing requirement.</p></p><p><p>The Seattle-based coffee giant said Monday it was acting in response to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which issued a vaccine-or-test requirement for companies with more than 100 employees in November.</p></p><p><p>The requirement, which has faced numerous court challenges, was upheld last month by a three-judge panel with the U.S. Court of Appeals.</p></p><p><p>The Supreme Court is <a href=”https://apnews.com/article/coronavirus-pandemic-business-health-medicaid-medicare-b876c1827648cf84208fb44d21ad52a1″ target=”—blank”>scheduled to consider the requirement on Friday</a>.</p></p><p><p>Starbucks is requiring its 228,000 U.S. employees to disclose their vaccination status by Jan. 10.</p></p><p><p>“I recognize that partners have a wide spectrum of views on vaccinations, much like the rest of the country,” Starbucks Chief Operating Officer John Culver said in a letter sent to employees in late December.</p></p><p><p>“My responsibility, and that of every leader, is to do whatever we can to help keep you safe and create the safest work environment possible.”</p></p><p><p>Starbucks said full vaccination means two shots of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or one shot of the Johnson &amp; Johnson vaccine.</p></p><p><p>If a Starbucks employee chooses to test weekly instead, they must pay the cost of testing themselves and get tested a pharmacy, clinic or other testing site where someone is observing the test.</p></p><p><p>Religious or medical accommodations will be considered, but to work in a store, employees must test weekly, the company said.</p></p><p><p>Employees who test positive will be able to use paid time to self-isolate.</p></p><p><p>Starbucks said it is currently offering employees two instances of paid isolation time, both up to five days each.</p></p>