Starbucks is requiring its America-based employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19 to comply with Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate on private companies with 100 or more employees.
The Seattle-based coffee giant informed its 220,000 U.S. employees of the new policy in a memo released on Monday.
Biden’s vaccine mandates are slated to go into effect on January 10, but its fate is not certain. Biden’s vaccine mandates have been challenged repeatedly by the courts and blocked several times. However, an Obama-appointed judge ruled last month that the mandate could continue. The Supreme Court is expected to hear oral arguments on the mandate on Friday.
Legal experts believe that, while the Supreme Court has upheld state vaccine mandates, Biden’s federal mandate likely won’t fare so well. Even the Biden administration has previously recognized their lack of authority to impose a vaccine mandate. White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain once acknowledged that a federal mandate isn’t constitutional when, back in September, he retweeted a tweet that effectively praised Biden’s use of an OSHA rule as a workaround for enacting an unconstitutional federal mandate.
Last year, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that vaccine mandates are “not the role” of the federal government. “Well, I think the question here — one, that’s not the role of the federal government,” she said on July 23, offering no exception to this assessment. “That is the role that institutions, private-sector entities, and others may take. That certainly is appropriate.”
Before taking office, Joe Biden also said that he didn’t think vaccines should be mandatory.