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Workplaces and vaccines: what is the status now?

Published: Jan. 19, 2022 at 3:23 PM PST
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Starbucks says it is no longer requiring its workers to be vaccinated against COVID 19. The decision comes on the heels of a United States Supreme Court decision striking down a federal regulation requiring large employers to have such a mandate.

The coffee giant has also decided to stop requiring its employees wear mask and social distance. Such decisions are certainly the company’s right.

But employment attorney Shannon Pierce says the Supreme Court’s ruling took only a slice out of OSHA’s oversight. Employers still need to use common sense.

“OSHA is still going to be monitoring what employees are doing what they need to do to minimize the spread of COVID 19,” says Pierce. “So being COVID smart is still in effect,” she says.

Pierce says justices noted not all large employers have workplaces which pose the same risk. Which is one reason they struck down the OSHA regulation.

“Regardless of the level of risk, every industry with companies of a certain size were subject to this policy,” says Pierce.

Pierce doesn’t believe this is the last word on the subject. She suspects Congress may take the issue on as that’s what the Supreme Court ruling advises saying while OSHA doesn’t have the authority to set such a mandate, congressional action would. That action could be taken industry by industry.

The Supreme Court did uphold a mandate requiring all health care facilities who receive federal money to require vaccines.

Renown Medical Center is already in compliance.

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