Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, our commitment to the health and safety of our employees, customers and local communities has remained our top priority, and we are committed to providing our employees and customers with a safe, clean and pleasant store environment in which to work and shop. We have also implemented several proactive and preventative measures, and we are proud to have remained open to serve our neighbors as one of America’s essential retailers.
Our COVID-19 response efforts were recognized by Forbes magazine, which named Dollar General among its top 25 corporate responders to the COVID-19 pandemic, and are reflected in a Harris Poll that outlines the essential role our stores are playing.
For Employees: We are working to remove barriers by providing our frontline, hourly store team members with a one-time payment equivalent of four (4) hours of regular pay after receiving a completed COVID-19 vaccination and our salaried team members with additional labor hours to accommodate for their time away from the store.
For Customers and Communities: Dollar General continues to have constructive conversations with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on ways the Company can support the nation's COVID-19 testing and with various private and government organizations regarding possible COVID-19 vaccine support, particularly in the communities we serve. With an expansive and unique real estate footprint, within approximately five miles of approximately 75% of the U.S. population, we believe that we are well-positioned to assist in these efforts. Specific details regarding these efforts will be provided once finalized. We remain ready to help where appropriate.
To augment social distancing and cleaning protocols (and keeping any legal requirements in mind), we currently require all employees, vendors and customers to wear facial coverings in stores, distribution centers and corporate offices. Customer and vendor exceptions include situations where wearing a mask is not recommended due to age, a health or medical condition, or is otherwise exempted by state or local order. Employee exceptions include situations where the Company is not able to otherwise provide a reasonable accommodation for certain medical conditions or sincerely held religious beliefs or the employee is otherwise exempted from the requirement by state or local order.
We continue to provide PPE to employees, including facial coverings, and have added hand sanitizer for employee and customer use. Additionally, in all traditional distribution centers and cold storage facilities, temperature scan checks are administered for each employee prior to each shift.
Social distancing measures are being exercised across our organization and are designed to help keep individuals six feet apart. In stores, floor spacing markers and more than 40,000 plexiglass register barriers have been installed throughout the chain. Distribution and cold storage facilities also have implemented traffic flow pattern indicators alongside additional distancing measures in common areas such as restrooms, locker rooms and break rooms.
From stores and distribution centers to the DG Private Fleet and corporate offices, enhanced cleaning protocols continue to be part of our daily operations.
By entering their worksite, employees are confirming that they are COVID symptom free, have not been in direct contact with someone known to have tested positive for COVID and are not awaiting the results of a COVID test. Employees who are experiencing fever or other symptoms of the virus are asked to stay home. Also, employees impacted by COVID-19, including those who must remain at home due to their own diagnosis, to care for an immediate family or household member or while awaiting test results based on their own health symptoms, are paid for regularly scheduled hours during those times.
For employees not enrolled in Dollar General medical plans, we provided an additional opportunity to enroll in a Telehealth program, which provides affordable healthcare options to employees without physically visiting a healthcare provider’s office. We are also currently waiving all telehealth co-pays for employees covered under Dollar General’s medical plans.
As of December 2020, we pledged to award up to $170 million in appreciation bonuses to eligible employees in our stores, distribution centers and private fleet networks during our 2020 fiscal year. These bonuses demonstrate our gratitude to the team members who continue to serve our customers and communities.
In FY 2020, Dollar General made a $5.25 million donation to the Dollar General Employee Assistance Foundation, which provides financial assistance to employees during specified times of need.
We were one of the first to announce senior hours, which are designed to allow some of the most vulnerable customers the ability to shop during the first hour that stores are open. By encouraging customers to plan their shopping trips around these hours, this allows seniors to purchase the essential items they need in less busy and crowded shopping periods.
With the heightened demand for household essentials offered by our stores amid COVID-19 concerns, we continue to seek individuals to support store, distribution center, private fleet and corporate functions. We provide employees with competitive wages, world-class and award-winning training and development programs and benefits including day-one telemedicine eligibility and Dollar General’s Employee Assistance Foundation – as well as health insurance coverage options, 401K savings and retirement plans, tuition reimbursement, paid parental leave and adoption assistance to eligible employees. Individuals seeking to begin or grow their career are encouraged to review opportunities and apply online at www.dollargeneral.com/careers.
We are enhancing customers’ shopping experiences by offering DG Pickup and increasing the number of stores with self-checkout. DG Pickup is now available for most stores and allows customers to shop from the convenience of the DG app on their smart phone. After placing an order, customers receive a communication when their order is ready. Once at the store, customers can grab their order from the in-store DG Pickup shelves and be on their way. DG Pickup also allows customers to take full advantage of the DG Digital Coupons for instant savings.
With approximately 55 million American school children currently home during the day, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation is proud to have contributed $2 million to support Save the Children’s coronavirus response efforts across rural America to help ensure children continue to learn and have access to nutritious foods.
Save the Children’s programs supported by this donation help provide resources to families to begin or continue at-home learning processes and distribute educational games and toys, as well as hygiene materials and shelf-stable foods.
Learn more about the Dollar General Literacy Foundation.
We continue to remind employees on a regular basis of the steps to help avoid or contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus as well as steps they should take if they experience symptoms or have direct contact with someone who tested positive for the virus. Protocols have also been established on how employees should respond to both direct and indirect exposure to the virus. We continue to monitor and update our measures if/when necessary.
Updated March 11, 2021.