Dollar General says it wants to make it easier for its frontline workers to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
The retailer, which does not operate on-site pharmacies and does not have systems in place for employees to receive a vaccine at their work site, said is it “removing barriers” for vaccine access. That means providing frontline hourly team members with a one-time payment equivalent of four 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,” the retailer said. “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.”
Dollar General added that it will not require its employees to receive the vaccine.
Meanwhile, The Kroger Co. and other grocers want to accelerate their COVID-19 vaccination efforts, but they have said they are hitting bureaucratic obstacles. Kroger Health President Colleen Lindholz told The Wall Street Journal that the grocer is getting only a small number of doses, a fraction of what it has the ability to handle. The company told the Journal it has given about 4,500 doses of COVID-19 vaccinations. On average, Kroger provides roughly 200,000 doses of the flu vaccine each week during flu season.
Goodlettsville, Tennessee-based Dollar General operates 16,720 stores in 46 states, employing approximately 140,000 associates. The company is No. 16 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer's 2020 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.