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September 15, 2005

"Family Dollar" fires employee for caring about family

From the Tennessean...

An employee was fired from her $7-an-hour job at the Family Dollar store in Spring Hill after taking time off to rescue two younger siblings from hurricane-ravaged Mississippi, she says.

Kolonie Sims, 20, third-in-charge at the discount retail store, said her bosses and a district manager gave her permission to go.

But when she got back Monday after two days in Mississippi, Sims said, she was told that she no longer had a job.

"I had to get my family," she said. "I had to get them. I went and did what I said I was going to do."

Her bosses didn't necessarily object to her trip, she said, but objected to her leaving work four hours early on Thursday and not leaving for Mississippi until late Friday.

It's not like anybody would need to take the time to pack anything for a lengthy trip of undetermined length, would they?

Pretty bad advertising, I'd say. We have a few of those stores around here, and when I see on, I'll certainly be remembering this incident, and drive on past. Their corporate office number is 704.847.6961. The number for the store in Spring Hill is 931.486.1119.

Posted by Danny Carlton at September 15, 2005 06:28 AM

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Here is a letter I just received from Family Dollar in response to a letter I sent to them regarding this incident:

Dear Mr. Lawson,

Thank you for taking the time to express your concerns with us.

One of Family Dollar's missions is to provide our associates with a compelling place to work. With more than 40,000 employees, situations can arise that do not reflect our corporate commitment to being a compelling place to work, and we have processes in place to review and address those situations as promptly as possible. We have reviewed Ms. Sims' situation, and we have offered to re-employ Ms. Sims in her previous position and to compensate her for the time she missed from work. We are waiting to hear back from Ms. Sims as to whether she will accept our offer of re-employment.

Our goal is and continues to be to provide associates a compelling place to work, and this isolated incident does not reflect the true spirit of Family Dollar. The true spirit of Family Dollar is reflected in the actions we have taken to support our displaced employees during this difficult time:

We have actively reached out to our employees to make sure that they were safe;
We have responded to every employee that has contacted us and placed them in jobs;
We have continued salary and benefits for displaced or missing employees;
We have assisted displaced Associates with temporary living expenses;
We are providing relocation assistance to those employees who have decided to relocate permanently.

The perception created by this isolated incident does not accurately reflect our corporate culture. Family Dollar is a compassionate organization that has taken many steps to aid and assist all of our associates and customers who have been victimized by Hurricane Katrina.

Again, thank you for sharing your thoughts and concerns with us.

Kiley F. Rawlins, CFA
Divisional Vice President - Investor Relations and Communications
Family Dollar Stores
P.O. Box 1017
Charlotte, NC 28201-1017
tel: (704) 849-7496
fax: (704) 841-1401

Posted by: Sid at September 18, 2005 06:07 PM

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