Dollar General announced on Wednesday that it is offering its workers four hours of pay if they go and get the COVID-19 vaccine.
The company said the offer is currently only applicable to frontline workers, but it plans to extend it to its distribution and transportation teams. The offer is only an incentive and the company will not require its workers to get the vaccine.
“We do not want our employees to have to choose between receiving a vaccine or coming to work, so we are working to remove barriers (e.g., travel time, mileage, child care needs, etc.) by providing frontline hourly team members with a one-time payment equivalent of four (4) hours of regular pay after receiving a completed COVID-19 vaccination and salaried team members with additional store labor hours to accommodate their time away from the store,” the announcement states.
Dollar General is one of the first larger companies to incentivize its employees to get the vaccine. The more essential employees who get the vaccine, the safer customers will feel shopping in those stores.
Other companies are waiting to offer incentives for their employees to get the vaccine until they understand when their employees will be eligible for it. No company has announced that they will require employees to get vaccinated.
“We felt the right thing to do was to break down these barriers to vaccination,” Todd Vasos, Dollar General’s chief executive, told The Wall Street Journal. “We believe as the vaccine continues to gain momentum that we’ve got to get it to rural America.”
Around 75 percent of Dollar General stores are located in rural areas. It is unclear when its employees will be eligible to receive vaccines.
Vaccination rollouts have been slower than expected and health officials are hoping that the process speeds up in the upcoming weeks.