Some Companies Adjust Vaccine Policy Following Supreme Court Ruling, Others Hang on for Dear Life

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  • 03/02/2023

Following last week’s Supreme Court ruling blocking a vaccine mandate for large employers, some companies are adjusting their policies, while others are hanging on for dear life. 

Indeed, as previously reported by Human Events News, the Supreme Court blocked Biden’s vaccine-or-test mandate for large employers, but allowed the policy requiring vaccinations for most healthcare workers at facilities that receive Medicaid and Medicare funding to remain in place. 

The Court ruled 6 to 3 against the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s employer mandate, blocking it from taking effect while other legal challenges play out. 

The Court ruled 5 to 4 to keep the healthcare worker mandate in place, however, with Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Kavanaugh joining the Democrats. 

Companies including Amtrak, General Electric and Starbucks are suspending their mandates as many employers face labor shortages. 

Amtrak announced last month that it will suspend its employee mandate after a judge issued a nationwide injunction against a requirement for federal contractors. 

The reversal allows Amtrak to run normally instead of cutting service.

“Today, 95.7% of our employees are either fully vaccinated or have an accommodation,” Amtrak CEO Bill Flynn said in a memo. “When we include employees who have reported getting at least one vaccine dose, this number climbs to 97.3%.”

He added that those with accommodations or those who remain unvaccinated will be offered testing while the mandate is not in effect. 

Starbucks told its employees Tuesday that they would no longer be required to get vaccinated or submit to weekly testing. Just two weeks earlier, the company had detailed the requirement and set a deadline of February 9th.

John Culver, the company’s chief operating officer, said in his memo that more than 90 percent of Starbucks workers in the United States had disclosed their vaccination status and that “the vast majority” were fully vaccinated.

“I want to emphasize that we continue to believe strongly in the spirit and intent of the mandate,” Culver said.

On the other hand, some companies are sticking with their vaccine mandates despite the Supreme Court’s ruling. 

Apple, as previously reported by Human Events News, will soon require store and corporate employees to get a COVID-19 booster. 

An internal memo said employees will have four weeks to receive a booster once they become eligible. Employees who do not get the booster will have to undergo regular testing prior to entering offices or stores starting on February 15. 

Apple will also require employees who have yet to confirm their vaccination status or those who are unvaccinated to provide proof of a negative test beginning January 24. 

Similarly, Carhartt - known for its working and outdoor clothes - is keeping its vaccine mandate in place. 

"We put workplace safety at the very top of our priority list and the Supreme Court’s recent ruling doesn’t impact that core value," Carhartt CEO Mark Valade wrote in an email to employees last Friday, according to a copy of the message that was circulated on social media. "We, and the medical community, continue to believe vaccines are necessary to ensure a safe working environment for every associate and even perhaps their households."

The company did grant some medical and religious accommodation requests and said the vast majority of its workforce is or is in the process of becoming fully vaccinated. 

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