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Dollar Tree and Family Dollar settlement addresses store safety concerns



Michael P. Norton

BOSTON – Federal officials announced Wednesday that they have ordered Dollar Tree and Family Dollar to address store safety concerns, such as blocked exits, access to fire extinguishers, and improper material storage, at thousands of its stores nationwide, including in Massachusetts.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has entered into a corporate-wide settlement agreement with the operators of one of the nation’s largest discount retail chains to improve workplace safety in stores.

The settlement agreement requires Dollar Tree and Family Dollar to conduct a comprehensive, nationwide assessment of the root causes of violations OSHA has repeatedly cited at multiple stores, with a plan to identify causes and make changes within two years, the labor department said. The directive to abate any future violations related to blocked exits, access to fire extinguishers and electrical panels, and improper material storage at stores requires the companies to correct hazards within 48 hours of OSHA notifying them, and to later submit proof the hazards were corrected. Failure to correct those hazards could result in penalties of $100,000 per day of violation, up to $500,000, as well as OSHA enforcement actions.

“By securing this agreement with Dollar Tree and Family Dollar, the department is making good on President Biden’s commitment to be the most pro-worker administration in history,” Acting Secretary of Labor Julie Su said in a statement. “At the Department of Labor, we know that every worker deserves to come home safe at the end of the workday. 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.”

The companies have agreed to pay $1.35 million “to settle existing contested as well as open inspections of similar alleged violations,” the labor department said. Dollar Tree will also maintain a 24-hour hotline to take safety complaints and establish a system to ensure complaints are addressed.

Based in Virginia, Dollar Tree operates more than 16,000 Dollar Tree and Family Dollar stores in 48 states and Canada and employs more than 193,000 people.

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