Dollar stores are among the retailers that have been dominating amid this period of intense and unceasing inflation. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean they are doing right by their customers or workers. Two Family Dollar stores in Ohio have found themselves in some serious hot water. An investigation conducted by The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) revealed multiple safety hazards overtly present in the stores. Consequently, Family Dollar is now facing serious fiscal penalties.
Family Dollar is being ordered to pay out roughly $1.2 million dollars in fines after two of its Ohio stores were found in serious violations of multiple safety codes. According to Business Insider, the OSHA inspections were prompted by reports of “hazardous working conditions” from an employee. The store in Maple Heights, Ohio “was found to have one repeat violation and four willful violations.”
The other store in Columbus, Ohio had “one serious violation, one repeat violation, and four willful violations.” The stores were charged with suggested fines of $685,777 and $547,587, respectively. OSHA’s investigation reported finding conditions such as blocked exits, leaking ceilings, goods stacked to unsafe heights, unsanitary working areas, and fire extinguishers that weren’t accessible in any way.
Interestingly enough, Family Dollar has been in trouble with OSHA numerous times since its acquisition by Dollar Tree in 2015. Dough Parker, assistant secretary for occupational safety and health, said the company has an extensive history of putting its employees at risk. That is especially true when those risks suit their bottom line, noted Parker.
According to the federal agency, since 2017 they have investigated over 500 Dollar Tree or Family Dollar stores. Those investigations resulted in a combined total of over 300 different violations. A frightening example of the gravity of these charges occurred back in February when Family Dollar closed 404 stores that were infested with over 1,000 dead rats, collectively. As for the current charges, neither Family Dollar nor its parent organization have issued statements in response to OSHA’s purported allegations.
At this point, it remains unclear how Family Dollar will respond to OSHA’s serious charges and fines. The company has until mid-August to acknowledge and pay the fines or appeal the charges. Regardless, the violations at the stores found in Ohio will have to be addressed in order for them to remain operational.
Family Dollar isn’t the only store to recently make headlines for poor workplace conditions. Multiple Walmart employees across the nation have come forward with complaints over current store stockroom conditions. Severe overstock at those stores has led to circumstances such as unsafe product stacking and restrooms that are completely blocked. An employee at one of the affected Walmarts detailed that she could not get to the room meant for nursing moms.
Amazon has also recently made headlines for violations not so dissimilar from the ones present at Family Dollar. Some workers at one Amazon warehouse in Illinois are feeling more unsafe than ever after they found the women’s bathroom entirely graffitied with racially hateful and threatening comments. And, also like Family Dollar, Amazon is no stranger to complaints about workplace safety.