Dollar General Leads Way in Paying Workers to Get Shots

Employees would receive a half-day's pay for being vaccinated
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 18, 2021 7:35 PM CST
Dollar General Promises Half-Day's Pay to Get Shots
A help wanted sign is displayed at the Dollar General store in Cicero, Ind., Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020.   (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

"We do not want our employees to have to choose between receiving a vaccine or coming to work," Dollar General said. So the company has announced it will give its workers who receive a coronavirus vaccination four hours' pay, the Washington Post reports. The company wants to remove obstacles to receiving the vaccination, such as transportation and child-care costs. "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," the company said. Base pay for Dollar General employees averages $9.80 an hour, per PayScale. The company has 157,000 employees.

Most Dollar General stores are in small towns or rural areas, per the Wall Street Journal. "We believe as the vaccine continues to gain momentum that we've got to get it to rural America," its CEO said. As another incentive, the discount retailer said it will grant paid time off to workers who have a bad reaction to the vaccine. Dollar General employees fall into the essential workers category, who have been especially at risk during the pandemic because they deal with members of the public. The National Retail Federation asked a CDC panel that the 32 million US retail workers be near the front of the line for coronavirus vaccinations. (More coronavirus vaccine stories.)

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