Two Bottles Of Orange Juice Will Cost Dollar General (DG) $250k

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Retail giant Dollar General could have to pay more than $250,000 over two simple bottles of orange juice.

In 2011, and in 2012, former cashier Linda Atkins drank a bottle of orange juice from a Maryville, Tennessee, Dollar General store’s cooler. She was fired for paying for the bottles only after she consumed. The company calls this infracton, “grazing.”

According to Atkins, she is diabetic and took the juice to stave off diabetic shock. She had also requested that she be able to keep her personal orange juice at the register but a supervisor denied the request. The company has a policy that bans food or drink at the register but under Dollar General policy, a medical exception could be made. Atkins had not been aware of this.

Fast forward to 2014, the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission filed a lawsuit on Atkins’s behalf and she later joined as a plaintiff. A court has awarded her $27,565 in back pay and $250,000 in compensatory damages.

Dollar General argued that Atkins could have kept an orange juice in suitable places such as her apron, the break room, the store’s cooler and the register, but a place out of camera sight.

Jennifer Morton, Atkins’s attorney, has said, “My client just hopes this case will help educate employees and employers under the American with Disabilities Act,” Morton said.

Disclaimer: We have no position in Dollar General Corp. (NYSE: DG) and have not been compensated for this article.