The Department of Labor has cited a Family Dollar Inc. store in Orlando, Fla., with willful and repeated security violations in connection with a fatal shoplifting incident and proposed $330,446 in penalties.
On December 11, 2021, shortly after struggling with a shoplifter in an unsuccessful attempt to prevent that person from escaping with merchandise, a 41-year-old store employee experienced shortness of breath and nausea. The employee later died at a local hospital, according to a statement from the DOL on Friday.
After an investigation into the incident, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited the company for risks of confinement and issued a warning letter for exposing employees to dangerous conditions associated with workplace violence.
OSHA directed the company to develop and train employees on proper procedures in the event of a robbery or shoplifting, and to provide a means for workers to request immediate assistance from the local police or an emergency operator.
OSHA cited the national discount retailer with a willful violation for keeping an emergency exit door locked with a single key held by management. The agency also issued citations for two repeat violations for not having a clear path for workers to pass through, and for allowing the aisles to remain blocked by carts and boxes of merchandise.
The company has 15 days to contest the referrals.