Dollar General, other U.S. companies, paying employees to get coronavirus vaccinations

Employees of a U.S.-based chain of discount stores will get four hours of regular pay after they’ve received the coronavirus vaccination.

Dollar General Corp. is giving frontline, hourly team members the one-time payment to compensate them for the time taken away from the store to get vaccinated. Meanwhile, salaried team members will get additional store labour hours to accommodate their time away from work. The company is making similar plans for its distribution and transportation teams, according to a press release.

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While Dollar General is encouraging employees to get vaccinated, it isn’t a mandatory work requirement, the release said, which also noted the retailer provided up to US$173 million in employee-appreciation bonuses for frontline workers through fiscal year 2020. The company is also making additional investments in personal protective equipment, paid sick-leave programs and waiving copays for employees covered by telehealth benefit programs while expanding coverage of those benefits to more team members.

While employers in Canada and the U.S., for the most part, can require employees get vaccinated, some are opting to use the carrot, not the stick to encourage staffers to roll up their sleeves.

Other U.S. retailers have also recently announced incentives for employees who get vaccinated, with grocery chain Trader Joe’s offering two hours of pay per vaccine dose and online grocery delivery company Instacart announcing it’ll give workers US$25 to compensate them for the time taken away from work to get the vaccine.

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