Dollar Tree Settlement

A sign hangs above a Dollar Tree store in Des Moines, Iowa. U.S. regulators on Wednesday announced a settlement with the company that runs Dollar Tree and Family Dollar aimed at improving worker safety at thousands of the bargain stores across the country, including four in Maine. AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall

Discount-stores owner Dollar Tree Inc. has paid more than $400,000 in fees for violating federal safety standards in Maine since 2017. Now, the federal agency charged with workplace safety is stepping in and requiring Dollar Tree Inc. to pay up existing fines across the country and to fix the root of the problem.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has entered into a settlement with Dollar Tree Inc., the owner of Dollar Tree and Family Dollar, that requires the company to pay $1.35 million for penalties and to make sweeping, systematic changes to address safety issues commonly found at stores in Maine and across the U.S.

“Dollar Tree and Family Dollar have agreed to significant investments to more effectively identify and correct the root causes of the hazards most commonly found during OSHA inspections, including blocked exits and unstable stacking of materials,” Doug Parker, OSHA’s assistant secretary said.

The conditions at Dollar Tree’s stores in Maine aren’t directly addressed in the settlement, but the settlement’s cited violations are the same as those cited in Dollar Tree’s penalty in Maine.

Since 2017, Dollar Tree and Family Dollar locations in Auburn, Augusta, Fort Kent and Bucksport have been cited for 15 violations regarding electrical wiring, clear pathways and exit routes, access to portable fire extinguishers, access to first aid and effective safety preparedness.

Some of those are repeat violations in Maine, meaning OSHA already issued violations for specific safety standards but Dollar Tree Inc. had not remedied the problems. As a result, the conglomerate has paid OSHA $404,713 for those safety violations in Maine. Dollar Tree Inc. still owes OSHA another $73,656 for another violation issued on July 20, 2023.


Dollar Tree Inc. reported its 2022 revenue was $28.3 billion, up 7.6% from $26.3 billion in 2021. The company has surpassed $28 billion in revenue this year.

The settlement requires payment of a $1.35 million fine for existing contested violations and open inspections. It’s unclear if that fine applies to a specific set of violations, or every contested and open inspection across the country.

The remediation process also will require Dollar Trees and Family Dollars to implement safety measures at all of its U.S. stores.

Dollar Tree Inc. is required to create managerial and staff roles for store safety, a hotline for safety concerns, an in-store safety incentive program, an employee safety advisory group, and a system to identify stores that are struggling to comply with OSHA standards.

The company will also be operating under the “S.P.E.E.D.” method: “Stacking height no higher than 8 feet and stable; pathway
clearance to all exit doors; extinguishers unblocked; electrical panels unblocked; doors unblocked, unlocked and clear.”

“We are implementing substantial safety policies, procedures, and training, all intended to safeguard the well-being of our associates,” Dollar Tree Inc. COO Mike Creedon said in a statement. “We appreciate the opportunity to engage with OSHA on our safety initiatives as we move forward, seeking to establish our position as a leading retailer in workplace safety.”


Dollar Tree Inc. would be on the hook for $100,000 each day a specific violation is not remedied – up to $500,000 per violation – if the conglomerate doesn’t notify OSHA about problems and subsequently correct them.

But the Department of Labor seems confident that this plan will be a success.

“We were willing to use this approach because these companies had already taken substantial steps to address the systemic issues, which gave us confidence that this innovative approach would work,” U.S. Solicitor of Labor Seema Nanda said.

Meanwhile, the New York Times reported in March that OSHA and Dollar General Corp. have been in the early stages of talks for a similar settlement. Dollar General, listed as a “severe violator” in OSHA’s program, was fined $321,419 in May for repeated workplace safety violations at its store in Enfield.

Dollar General’s website lists 68 locations in Maine.

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