Carhartt defends COVID-19 vaccine mandate, citing workplace safety

Michigan-based apparel company Carhartt is keeping its COVID-19 vaccine mandate despite a Supreme Court ruling that businesses don't need to require them.

MORE: Whitmer explains why she hasn't implemented Covid mandates in Michigan

According to the company, the mandate has been in place since Jan. 4. However, an email was sent to employees recently to let them know that the ruling does not change Carharrt's vaccine mandate, which applies to all corporate, retail, manufacturing and distribution workers.

Related: Free at-home COVID-19 test kits to be shipped in late January

That internal email circulated online this week, drawing both ire and support from people. Some people said they were going to buy Carharrt products now, while others said they will no longer buy from the company and encouraged others to boycott Carhartt.

Despite the backlash, Carhartt said stands "behind our decision because we believe vaccines are necessary to protect our workforce."

Carhartt noted that the majority of its workforce is vaccinated, and noted that a number of accommodation requests were approved for medical and religious reasons

Read the full Carhartt statement:

"Carhartt made the decision to implement its own vaccine mandate as part of our long-standing commitment to workplace safety.  Our recent communication to employees was to reinforce that the Supreme Court ruling does not affect the mandate we put in place.

"Carhartt fully understands and respects the varying opinions on this topic, and we are aware some of our associates do not support this policy. However, we stand behind our decision because we believe vaccines are necessary to protect our workforce."