After the Supreme Court ruled against the Biden administration’s vaccine-or-test guidelines for businesses on Thursday, Jan. 13, companies have leaned towards the court ruling and nixed their vaccine and testing requirements for employees. However, Carhartt apparel is one company that favors COVID federal regulations.
On Friday, Jan. 14, an internal memo from Carhartt CEO Mark Valade surfaced online, responding to the Supreme Court’s ruling and the Biden Administration’s guidelines for large corporations. Though some customers have called a boycott against the Michigan-based company, Valade promised to move forward with corporate policy, requiring all 5,500 workers to be vaccinated, CBS News reported.
“Many of you have asked how the recent Supreme Court decision on the OSHA mandate for large employers will impact our associates so we want to provide some clarity,” he wrote in the memo, which was confirmed by Carhartt to be authentic. “The ruling does not change Carhartt’s mandatory vaccination program, which went into effect on January 4.”
He added, “An unvaccinated workforce is both a people and business risk that our company is unwilling to take.”
While the company finds itself at the center of controversy, the memo has sparked support and calls for a boycott from consumers. The unvaccinated have questioned both testing and vaccine mandates, viewing it as an infringement against their human rights. Those who are not inoculated are considered the minority, while 63% percent of the country is fully vaccinated. However, unvaccinated people are likely found in Republican-leaning areas, to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
After Carhartt’s memo went viral, Twitter users expressed their opinions on the vaccine mandate set in place for the company.
One user called the company’s vaccination policy “insane given their target market” and claimed they were “done purchasing any of their stuff.”
I spend thousands a year on @Carhartt hoodies, jackets & winter gear. Today that ends. I guess I am looking for alternatives. Seriously, this is insane given their target market. I am done purchasing any of their stuff and giving them thousands in free advertising. pic.twitter.com/kyHaNwlO6c
— TheQuartering (@TheQuartering) January 18, 2022
Another wrote that she was “impressed and I will be purchasing from a company that cares about protecting all its workers.”
Wow @Carhartt I’m impressed and I will be purchasing from a company that cares about protecting all its workers. Thank you for not making this issue political & for believing in science. We need more companies like yours! 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/Vs4ae9s4Nl
— Babetta 📎 (@babettalane) January 18, 2022
Though conservatives have been supporters of private companies and their rules for their establishments, some are not in favor of Carhartt’s decision. “Went from “Buy Carhartt” to “Bye Carhartt” real quick!,” tweeted conservative writer Ashley St. Clair, who also called Carhartt’s vaccine mandate “medical tyranny.”
Went from “Buy Carhartt” to “Bye Carhartt” real quick!
— Ashley St. Clair (@stclairashley) January 18, 2022
Carhartt told CBS MoneyWatch that the “vast majority” of its workers are vaccinated. Employees with medical conditions and religious beliefs are exempt from the corporate policy.
“Carhartt made the decision to implement its own vaccine mandate as part of our long-standing commitment to workplace safety,” the company said in an emailed statement. “Our recent communication to employees was to reinforce that the Supreme Court ruling does not affect the mandate we put in place.”
Carhartt said that it has extended the vaccination deadline to February 15.