Starbucks says its U.S. employees must be fully immunized by February 9 or face a weekly COVID testing requirement.
The Seattle-based coffee giant said Monday it was acting in response to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which issued a vaccine or testing requirement for companies with more than 100 employees in November.
Starbucks is asking its 228,000 US employees to disclose their immunization status by January 10.
“I recognize that partners have a wide range of views on vaccinations, much like the rest of the country,” Starbucks COO John Culver said in a letter sent to employees in late December. “My responsibility, and that of every leader, is to do everything possible to help you stay safe and create the safest work environment possible. “
Starbucks said full vaccination means two shots of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or one shot of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
If a Starbucks employee chooses to take a weekly test instead, they must pay the cost of the test themselves and get tested at a pharmacy, clinic, or other testing site where someone observes the test. Religious or medical accommodations will be considered, but to work in a store, employees must perform tests weekly, the company said.
Employees who test positive will be able to use paid time to self-isolate. Starbucks said it currently offers employees two paid periods of isolation, each of up to five days each.