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Starbucks suspends vaccine, test requirement after U.S. court ruling

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FILE PHOTO: A Starbucks logo is pictured on the door of the Green Apron Delivery Service at the Empire State Building in New York
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(Reuters) - Starbucks Corp suspended COVID-19 vaccine-or-test requirement for U.S. employees that had been mandated by the government, according to a memo sent to workers on Tuesday, following an adverse U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

The coffee giant had said earlier this month it would require its around 220,000 U.S. employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or undergo weekly testing.

The U.S. Supreme Court last week struck down Joe Biden administration's vaccination-or-testing mandate for large businesses, ruling that the policy overstepped executive authority.

"We respect the court's ruling and will comply," Starbucks Chief Operating Officer John Culver wrote in a memo to workers.

The move follows a similar decision from industrial conglomerate General Electric Co.

More than 90% of the company's workers have already disclosed their vaccination status, with a vast majority fully vaccinated, according to the memo.

Culver also said in the memo Starbucks strongly encourages vaccinations and boosters as well as disclosure of vaccination status.

United States currently leads the world in the daily average number of new deaths reported, accounting for one in every four deaths reported worldwide each day.

(Reporting by Praveen Paramasivam in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi)