Dollar General, the discount retailer with more than 19,000 locations across the country, has been cited by The Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) unit for workplace safety violations, The New York Times reported.
Since 2017, OSHA has inspected over 270 Dollar General stores and found 111 instances of unsafe working conditions in violation of the agency’s standards. Since then, OSHA has imposed over $15.5 million in penalties.
“What we have found time and time again at Dollar General stores is that there are obvious, preventable hazards that are putting workers at risk,” said Douglas L. Parker, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health, per The New York Times.
The violations are in part due to the discount retailer’s business model which relies on minimal staff on deck in contradiction to the ongoing volume of merchandise. For example, if there aren’t enough workers to properly unload a delivery, inventory can pile up quickly and create fire hazards and other workplace safety concerns.
“A business model should not be built on violating the law,” Anita Dunn, a senior adviser to President Biden, told The New York Times. “The reality is that workers in this country are entitled to certain protections by law, and this administration will enforce that.”
OSHA and Dollar General are in the process of settling the penalties and resolving unsafe workplace conditions. Dollar General has yet to publicly address the settlement discussion.