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Dollar Tree agrees to $1.35M OSHA penalty over store safety violations

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Dive Brief:

  • Dollar Tree has entered a settlement greement with the Occupational Safety & Health Administration over hazardous conditions at stores, according to legal filings dated Aug. 17.
  • The company will pay $1.35 million in penalties, submit to open inspections and maintain a 24-hour hotline to receive safety complaints, among other concessions, the U.S. Department of Labor said this week.
  • In addition to the immediate fine and requirements, Dollar Tree must “conduct a comprehensive, nationwide assessment of the root causes of the violations OSHA has repeatedly cited at multiple stores, with a plan to identify causes and make operational changes to correct them within a two-year period,” per the Labor Department’s release.

Dive Insight:

OSHA is giving the company 48 hours to correct future violations related to blocked exits, access to fire extinguishers and electrical panels, and improper material storage at stores. Dollar Tree and subsidiary Family Dollar must submit proof that the hazards have been addressed, or face fines of $100,000 per day, up to $500,000, and further enforcement actions, the Labor Department said.

The action against Dollar Tree is part of what Acting Secretary of Labor Julie Su called “President Biden’s commitment to be the most pro-worker administration in history.” The administration has also beefed up scrutiny and enforcement of labor laws related to union activity, including at retailers, most notably Amazon.

“At the Department of Labor, we know that every worker deserves to come home safe at the end of the workday,” Su said in a statement. “Through our robust enforcement of workplace protections and use of innovative legal methods that resulted in this agreement, thousands of workers will have a healthier, safer and more certain future.”

Dollar Tree didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on the settlement with OSHA, and executives didn’t address it on an earnings call Thursday morning.

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