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Dollar General plans to pay employees to get COVID-19 vaccination

FILE PHOTO: A sign is seen outside a Dollar General store in Chicago, Illinois, U.S. May 23, 2016. REUTERS/Jim Young/File Photo

(Reuters) - Dollar General Corp will offer frontline employees four hours worth of pay after they get the COVID-19 vaccine, the discount retailer said on Wednesday, making it one of first U.S. companies to incentivize its workers to get inoculated.

The retailer, which has about 140,000 employees, said that it was providing hourly employees the one-time benefit to compensate for the time away from the store, while they received the vaccine. (bit.ly/3nGHYSm)

The company added that it was working with distribution and transportation teams to make similar accommodations and said it was providing salaried employees additional store labor hours.

The discount store chain did not mandate all employees to get the vaccine, but encouraged them to do so.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people over 75 and essential workers are scheduled to receive the vaccine in a later phase, after healthcare workers and nursing home residents.

Dollar General was deemed an essential service during the lockdowns, and became one of the few retailers to remain open for people to buy groceries and other daily supplies.

U.S. companies so far have been shying away from discussing vaccine mandates.

Reporting by Aishwarya Venugopal in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr

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