Dollar General wants its employees to get a COVID-19 vaccine.
The discounter announced that it will give its frontline hourly workers a one-time payment equivalent to four hours of regular pay after receiving a completed vaccination. Salaried team members will receive additional store labor hours to accommodate their time away from the store. The company said it is also working with distribution and transportation teams to make similar accommodations.
Dollar General had more than 157,000 employees and some 16,720 stores nationwide. It is the first big U.S. retailer to financially incentivize workers to be vaccinated. (Trader Joe's, which has about 505 stores, will give employees two hours of pay per dose for getting the vaccine and shift schedules to make sure employees have time to get vaccinated.)
In announcing the news, Dollar General noted that it does not have on-site pharmacies and currently has no systems in place for employees to receive a vaccine at their worksite. The retailer said it doesn’t want its employees to have to choose between receiving a vaccine or coming to work, so it was working to remove barriers (e.g., travel time, mileage, child care needs, etc.) by providing frontline hourly associates the pay bonus.
“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,” the company stated.