Dollar General’s popularity is hard to deny: The retailer’s low prices have managed to pull 40 percent of all U.S. shoppers to its stores, according to Insider. This has allowed the dollar store chain to grow immensely recently, with Dollar General stores more than doubling across the country last year. But the company has also faced its fair share of setbacks. Most recently, Dollar General has been hit with a new lawsuit that makes some serious allegations. Read on to find out why the retailer is now being sued.
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Dollar General is no stranger to backlash. In the last few months, shoppers have received warnings about the company. In mid-April, the North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services (NCDA & CS) sent out a press release, notifying consumers that Dollar General was among a number of retailers who were fined due to “excessive price-scanner errors” at stores across the state.
Earlier in May, the Environmental Justice Health Alliance for Chemical Policy Reform and Coming Clean, Inc. published a joint Campaign for Health Solutions 2022 report indicating that several products sold at Dollar General stores across the U.S. and Canada had tested positive for toxic chemicals that could pose a risk to the health of shoppers.
A man from Ocean County, New Jersey, just filed a lawsuit against Dollar General Corporation, NJ.com reported on May 21. According to the news outlet, 38-year-old Eric Sica was fired from his job as a stocking clerk at a Dollar General in Point Pleasant. Sica—who has a learning disability and other health issues—is suing the company for discrimination, claiming that he was fired for being “too slow” at his job.
The suit was filed April 14 in Superior Court in Ocean City, per NJ.com. A spokesperson for Dollar General declined to comment on the suit to the news outlet, saying that the company does not comment on pending litigation.
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Sica told his former Dollar General employers during his job interview that he was born with spinal meningitis, according to the lawsuit. As Cedars Sinai explains, this condition is an “infection of the fluid and membranes around the brain and spinal cord,” which can cause damage to the brain. In his suit, Sica said his spinal meningitis caused him to develop lifelong learning disabilities, hearing loss, and vision impairment.
Per NJ.com, the former Dollar General employee said he wrote on his job application that as a result of his disabilities, he receives Social Security benefits, could only work limited hours each week, and was unable to work any shifts that required him to drive at night because of his vision problems.
Sica was hired by the Dollar General store in Point Pleasant on Oct. 30, 2020, according to NJ.com. But in his suit, he claims that he started immediately being discriminated against by his supervisor based on the disabilities he had documented. “You’re too slow. You’re taking too long. It shouldn’t take that long,” the manager allegedly told him repeatedly as he stocked shelves.
Despite Sica claiming that he not only finished all his tasks and told his supervisor “he was doing the best he could,” he alleges that the supervisor kept yelling at him and accused him of “not doing anything in the store.” Eventually, Sica said he complained to upper management about the treatment. But instead of taking action against the supervisor, Sica reported in his lawsuit that Dollar General management fired him on Dec. 11, 2021.
The former employee alleges that the Dollar General Corporation has violated New Jersey’s laws against discrimination, claiming that he was discriminated against over his disabilities and then fired as retaliation for complaining about his employer’s treatment. With the lawsuit, Sica wants to be reinstated to his job, receive monetary damages, and have supervisors and mangers at Dollar General undergo anti-harassment and anti-discrimination training.
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