Domini’s Worker Safety Shareholder Proposal Is Approved, Prompting Progress at Dollar General


New York, NY—Women-led impact investment firm, Domini Impact Investments, filed a shareholder proposal, along with co-filers Adrian Dominican Sisters, Portico Benefit Services, Presbyterian Church U.S.A., Trinity Health, and United Church Funds, calling on Dollar General to conduct a third-party audit on worker health and safety. It passed, receiving 67.7% of the vote at the retailer’s annual shareholder meeting on May 31st. 

Dollar General has a track record of store safety violations and inadequate response from executives. As a result, Domini joined stakeholders and workers this week at the company’s annual shareholder meeting to advocate for safer working conditions. Several labor advocacy groups from across the country were also present, including Step Up Louisiana, United for Respect, and Union of Southern Service Workers (USSW). Shareholders voted in favor of our proposal asking for an independent audit that will assess the company’s management practices and how its business model contributes to widespread and repeated risks to workers’ and customers’ safety and well-being. 

Director of Engagement, Mary Beth Gallagher, on this week’s events: “This is a significant win for Dollar General’s workers. It brings the backing of a majority of the company’s shareholders to the mandate to bring in an independent auditor to look across the business model to examine what is going wrong. We expect that Dollar General will follow the call from its investors to move forward to conduct the audit, so that appropriate worker and customer informed solutions can be put in place.”    

Advocacy groups and Dollar General workers have criticized store leadership for the absence of prompt and adequate response to violent incidents, and workers are demanding improved internal policies regarding staffing, infrastructure, and updated safety codes. Dollar General has experienced significant growth, now with over 19,000 stores across the U.S. and has recently made headlines for being included in OSHA’s “Severe Violator Enforcement Program”, a program for employers with “willful, repeated” safety violations that haven’t taken effective measures toward improvement, facing $21 million in fines. 

Director of Impact Research, Lionella Pezza: “The support from fellow shareholders of Dollar General on this critical issue is promising. From a corporate social responsibility and research perspective, this type of retail outlet can help provide access to more affordable products, especially food and medicines, for middle- and low-income households living in areas that have been historically underserved. This is all the more the reason why companies like Dollar General need to ensure safe and healthy in-store conditions for workers, whose well-being and satisfaction needs to be a top priority for sustainable companies positioned to thrive over the long run.” 

About Domini Impact Investments LLC:

Domini Impact Investments LLC is a women-led SEC registered investment adviser that harnesses the power of finance to help create a better world. With an exclusive focus on impact investing, we aim to help drive positive outcomes for our planet and its people while seeking competitive financial returns. Our continuous innovation and caring, diverse community fuel tomorrow’s prosperity as we endeavor to make “investing for good” the way all investing is done.