Dollar General Removes Barriers for Frontline Workers to Get COVID-19 Vaccine
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the health and safety of our employees, customers and local communities have remained our top priority. We have implemented several proactive and preventative measures throughout our organization and are proud to have remained open to serve our neighbors as one of America’s essential retailers.
Through our mission of Serving Others, we take the responsibility to serve our customers and communities seriously.
Now is no different.
Understanding the vaccination of healthcare personnel and long-term care facility residents is underway and the CDC currently recommends the next phase of vaccinations be offered to frontline essential workers, we want to be on the forefront of facilitating our employees’ ability to receive the COVID-19 vaccine if they so choose—and we encourage all of our team to receive the vaccine when it’s available to them.
For our frontline employees who wish to receive the vaccine, we are going to support them.
We do not have an on-site pharmacy and currently do not have systems in place for employees to receive a vaccine at their work site. We do not want our employees to have to choose between receiving a vaccine or coming to work, so we are working to remove barriers (e.g., travel time, mileage, child care needs, etc.) by providing frontline hourly team members with a one-time payment equivalent of four (4) hours of regular pay after receiving a completed COVID-19 vaccination and salaried team members with additional store labor hours to accommodate their time away from the store. We’re also working with our distribution and transportation teams to make similar accommodations for those teams.
We understand the decision to receive the COVID-19 vaccination is a personal choice, and although we are encouraging employees to take it, we are not requiring them to do so.
DG led the charge in setting the first hour of operations as senior hour in an effort to ensure appropriate distancing and the most well-recovered and well-stocked store possible to some of our most vulnerable neighbors. We also announced at our Q3 earnings our plan to provide up to $173 million in employee appreciation bonuses for frontline employees through FY 2020 and have made investments in PPE, paid sick leave programs, waiving copays for employees covered by telehealth benefit programs, and providing additional opportunities for employees to enroll in tele-health programs. Additionally, the Company made a $5.25 million donation to the Dollar General Employee Assistance Foundation to support our teams during their times of need.
While the vaccine is one critical way to slow this pandemic, we continue to take the necessary precautions to help slow the spread of COVID-19, which include wearing a mask or facial covering, practicing good hygiene (including frequent handwashing and use of hand sanitizer) and proper social distancing. We are staying informed and following guidance from the CDC, as well as state and local health officials regarding continued COVID-19 safety.