Dollar General to pay employees to get COVID-19 vaccine

Written by Michael Palomba

In what seems to be a first, dollar store chain Dollar General is offering to pay their employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

“We want to be on the forefront of facilitating our employees’ ability to receive the COVID-19 vaccine if they so choose—and we encourage all of our team to receive the vaccine when it’s available to them,” Dollar General said in a written statement.

Frontline employees will be paid the equivalent of 4 work hours after they receive the vaccine, salaried staff  members are also eligible for a similar payment if they get vaccinated.

“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,” Dollar General said.

Despite the enthusiasm from Dollar General, it will be some time before most of the company’s employees are eligible to receive the vaccine. In California, vaccine rollout is moving slower than expected, and the state is working on vaccinating healthcare workers and the most vulnerable before offering the vaccine to the general population. A “vaccine super station,” was opened near Petco Park this week in order to speed up the vaccination rollout. The facility hopes to vaccinate 5,000 healthcare workers per day.

While many Dollar General employees are likely excited about the extra pay, some say that paying people to get the vaccine may increase skepticism.

“When you’re being paid to do something, people assume that there’s a reason why and that might happen here. People might assume in this case that the vaccine is riskier than it is and or that the benefits don’t go to the person getting the vaccine, but go to others, when of course they go to both in this case,” said Cynthia Cryder, Associate Professor of Marketing at Washington University in St. Louis.