Dollar Store Employees Protest for Safer Workplaces 
Workspan Daily
December 16, 2022

As reported by the Louisiana Illuminator, dozens of Dollar store employees protested Dec. 10 outside a Family Dollar location in New Orleans, demanding the parent companies of Family Dollar, Dollar Tree and Dollar General address safety and staffing concerns at their stores.  

In addition to crime and safety concerns, employees also said customer service suffers when there aren’t enough staff on hand. Higher wages would go a long way toward attracting and retaining workers, they said.  

Dollar store employees make between $9 and $13 an hour in the New Orleans area, according to a spokesperson for Step Up Louisiana, a grassroots labor advocacy group that organized the protest. Protestors called for a $25 hourly wage. 

From January through July, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) conducted more than 500 inspections at Dollar Tree and Family Dollar locations and found more than 300 violations. Offenses include blocked access to fire extinguishers, electrical equipment and exits, boxes stacked unsafely and merchandise left unsafely on the customer floorspace. 

Protesters reported many of the same workplace safety issues at their stores.  

In a statement to the Illuminator, the public relations office of Dollar General said: “At Dollar General, we strive to create an environment where employees can grow their careers, serve their communities and feel valued and heard. To that end, employees are encouraged to provide feedback through the several company-provided communication channels. We are committed to listening to this and other employee feedback and working collaboratively to address concerns. Creating and maintaining a safe and welcoming environment for our store teams and customers is a top priority, and our policies, procedures and training programs are designed and implemented with this priority in mind.” 

Nurses in U.K. Strike for First Time 

Nurses across Britain went on strike Dec. 15 demanding a raise and better working conditions, according to the New York Times, the first such walkout by nurses in the history of the country’s revered National Health Service (N.H.S). 

Nurses will still be staffing the most vital services, such as intensive care units and chemotherapy, dialysis, and some pediatric services, but nonurgent medical attention will be much less available. Hospitals and other health facilities say that they have tried to manage schedules to ensure the safety of patients during the action. 

The strike comes as the N.H.S. is in crisis, with declining working conditions for clinical staff and amid the spillover pressures of the pandemic. There have been record delays for ambulance response times and a major backlog for medical procedures, among many other problems. 

The nurse’s union, the Royal College of Nursing, has asked for a 19% raise, noting that small increases in the past have made it hard to attract and retain workers. Nurses are leaving the profession at high rates, citing low pay and staff shortages that force them to work long hours, according to union representatives. 

The union came to the decision to strike after polling its more than 300,000 members, who make up about a third of the health service’s work force. Nurses plan to strike again on Dec. 20, while the ambulance service has walkouts scheduled for Dec. 21 and Dec. 28. 

NY Governor Signs Legislation to Expand Accommodations for Breastfeeding in the Workplace 

New York Gov. Kathy Hochulrecently signed legislation to expand accommodations for breastfeeding in the workplace. According to a statement, legislation (S.4844-B/A.1236-A) requires all employers in New York to ensure that pumping spaces are convenient and private, as well as include seating, access to running water and electricity, and a working space.  

It will also require employers to develop and implement a written policy regarding employee rights when breastfeeding in the workplace. The new legislation will ensure that all employees across the state will receive the same basic accommodations that public employees currently receive. 

Currently, employers must give reasonable break times and make reasonable efforts to provide a space for employees to pump breast milk, but this standard falls below the requirements in place for government employees. This legislation will ensure that all workplaces across the state have safe, clean pumping spaces by requiring employers to expand accommodations for breastfeeding. 

The new law will also require employers to adopt a policy developed by the New York State Department of Labor regarding employee rights when breastfeeding in the workplace. Employers must provide the written policy to each employee upon hire and annually thereafter, as well as to employees returning to work after the birth of a child. 

Every nursing mother deserves access to a safe, hygienic and convenient space to pump in the workplace,” Gov.Hochul said. By requiring employers to provide quality accommodations, this legislation will help employees feel comfortable and respected when breastfeeding. 

Survey: 70% of HR Professionals Say Employer Lacks DEI Framework 

As reported by Benefits Canada, more than two-thirds (70%) of human resources professionals say their employer lacks a diversity, equity and inclusion governance framework or has a DEI framework with unclear accountabilities. 

The survey by McLean & Co. polled about 1,000 HR professionals across the globe. It found more than half (57%) said they don’t have a DEI team or dedicated resource. Around a third of respondents said their organization has a formal (37%) or informal (35%) DEI strategy. 

The survey found organizations with a DEI strategy were nearly twice as likely to report high overall organizational performance and high social and environmental sustainability. Some 39% of respondents noted their organizations are offering DEI-specific training for leaders on foundational DEI concepts and unconscious bias, while others are offering training around inclusive leadership (29%), anti-racism (20%) and allyship (19%). 

It also found organizations that leverage competency-based training, including inclusive leadership, anti-racism and allyship were 40% more likely to be high performing in DEI compared to those leveraging awareness-based training. 

Editor’s Note: Additional Content 

For more information and resources related to this article see the pages below, which offer quick access to all WorldatWork content on these topics: 

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