Dollar General violated worker rights and federal law in efforts to quell unionization at a Connecticut store

Dollar General violated federal labor law and “clearly intended to interfere” with worker rights in efforts to quell unionization at a Connecticut store.

Associated Press

Jul 19, 2023, 10:46 AM

Updated 279 days ago

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Dollar General violated worker rights and federal law in efforts to quell unionization at a Connecticut store
Dollar General violated federal labor law and “clearly intended to interfere” with worker rights in efforts to quell unionization at a Connecticut store, a National Labor Relations Board judge said Monday.
Violations from the Dolgen Corp., which operates Dollar General stores, included wrongfully firing an employee and making an implied threat to close the location in Barkhamsted, the NLRB decision read — adding that the company also sent corporate officials to the store and other locations across Connecticut in response to a 2021 union drive.
“The unfair labor practices herein involve individuals at the highest levels of Dolgen management," judge Arthur J. Amchan wrote. “They were also committed pursuant to a corporate policy as to how to deal with organizing efforts by Dollar General employees.”
Employees were also required to attend meetings that encouraged them to vote against union representation, Amchan said. Dollar General workers at the Barkhamsted store narrowly voted against unionizing in October 2021.
Dollar General did not immediately respond to The Associated Press' request for comment Tuesday. The Goodlettsville, Tennessee-based discount retailer has previously denied wrongdoing, per Bloomberg.
In Monday's decision, Amchan said that Dolgen should be required to cease-and-desist from any discriminatory action against employees for engaging in union activity, company surveillance and other efforts aimed at discouraging labor organizing. The judge also ordered that the company offer the fired worker reinstatement and send notices that alert U.S. employees of the labor law violations and their rights.
Beyond unionization, Dollar General has faced multiple penalties for store safety over the years — including federal citations for electrical hazards and obstructed fire exits. As of May, the Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration had proposed more than $21 million in penalties since 2017 after conducting 240 store inspections nationwide.
“Dollar General continues to expose its employees to unsafe conditions at its stores across the nation,” assistant secretary for occupational safety and health Doug Parker said in a statement following recent penalties announced in May. “As one of the nation’s largest retailers, the company must focus its attention on resolving these issues and making corporatewide changes to protect the safety and well-being of the people they employ.”


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