A vehicle drives through the parking lot outside a Family Dollar Stores Inc. store in Chicago, Illinois, on Tuesday, March 3, 2020.
Daniel Acker | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Federal Regulators have fined Family Dollar more than $1.2 million in penalties related to safety violations at two Ohio stores, the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration said Monday.
In January and February of this year, OSHA inspected Family Dollar stores in Columbus and Maple Heights and found blocked exits, unstable stacks of goods, cluttered working areas and inaccessible electrical equipment and fire extinguishers.
At the Columbus location, the agency found “water-soaked ceiling tiles” had fallen to the floor on at least two occasions in “close proximity” to employees, according to the citation.
The agency found 11 violations between the two stores, adding to more than 300 total violations by Family Dollar and its parent company, Dollar Tree, over the last five years, OSHA said in a release.
“Family Dollar and Dollar Tree stores have a long and disturbing history of putting profits above employee safety,” said Doug Parker, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, in a statement. “Time and time again, we find the same violations — blocked or obstructed emergency exits and aisles, boxes of Merchandise stacked high or in front of electrical panels and fire extinguishers. Each hazard can lead to a tragedy.”
A representative for Dollar Tree did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The company can contest the citation and the fine with the agency.
The fines come just months after a Food and Drug Administration investigation found rodents, dead and alive, in more than 400 Family Dollar stores, leading to mass voluntary recalls of products this past February.
Dollar stores have seen growing success amid a recent period of soaring inflation, as consumers grapple with higher prices on everything from groceries to gas. Dollar Tree upped its price point to $1.25 earlier this year.