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After Supreme Court ruling, Universal retracts COVID testing mandates for employees

In a message to employees that was sent out on Thursday, Universal Studios Orlando announced it will not require COVID testing for its unvaccinated employees, despite a directive Universal issued on January 10. The decision was made in response to a change in federal regulations, according to The Orlando Sentinel.

Universal Studios Orlando and Islands of Adventure theme parks!

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Universal Studios‘ initial directive would have required employees of the resort to either be vaccinated or to undergo weekly COVID testing beginning on February 9. The directive would have also required unvaccinated employees to wear masks while on duty in accordance with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Emergency Temporary Standard.

But on January 13, the Supreme Court threw out the requirement put forth by OSHA, stating that the OSHA overstepped its authority with the mandate.

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Previously, spokesman for Universal Studios Tom Schroder said that it would adjust its policies regarding vaccination and COVID testing as changes are made by the courts.

The message sent to employees of Universal Studios yesterday also stated that the company would pay employees who were unable to work a shift due to side effects from receiving the COVID vaccine or the booster shot. That pay is available to employees through April 9.

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Though the message made the company’s previous directive null and void, it also said that Universal would continue to encourage employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19, but that it would not require vaccination or mandate employee testing.

Universal will still require its employees to share their vaccination status with the company, a practice Universal has been carrying out since August 2021. But the company doesn’t require employees to show their vaccine cards as proof of vaccination.

About Becky Burkett

Becky's from the Lone Star State and has been writing since she was 10 and encountered her first Disney Park when she was 11. It was love at first Main Street Electrical Parade. Joy is blank lined journals, 0.7 mm pens, and all things Walt, Woody and Buzz, PIXAR, Imagineering, Sleeping Beauty (make it blue!), Disney Parks history and EPCOT. At Disney World, you'll find her croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. If you can dream, you really can do it!