Starbucks has been in the news lately because workers across the country are leading unionization efforts. There are now more than 30 stores nationwide, with unionization pushes in the works, sparked by Starbucks workers of a Buffalo, New York franchise location that voted in favor of unionizing back in December.
Starbucks made more headlines this week by announcing that they will no longer require U.S. workers to receive the COVID-19 vaccine or undergo weekly testing. In December, Starbucks had initially informed employees of this requirement, which would take effect on Feb. 9. While they are still encouraging employees to get vaccinated, boosted, and disclose their vaccine status. This shift in policy comes about a week after the Supreme Court blocked the Biden Administration’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for large private businesses.
The company also told employees that U.S. baristas must isolate with pay if exposed to COVID-19. This departs from a previous policy that only required unvaccinated baristas to do so. However, they have reduced the isolation period from 10 to 5 days in-line with the new CDC guidance.
Starbucks is also recommending all employees wear medical masks rather than cloth ones. They have indicated that store managers will be ordering and distributing them to employees.