Cashier putting on personal protective equipment on at a Dollar Tree.


‘Corporate doesn’t see us as people with rights’: Dollar Tree worker says they weren’t allowed to deny service to COVID-positive customer in viral TikTok

The customer's family had called ahead to warn the store.


Kathleen Wong


Posted on Jan 10, 2022   Updated on Jan 11, 2022, 11:01 am CST

A Dollar Tree manager is sharing their experience with assisting a COVID-positive customer after their corporate manager allegedly didn’t allow them to deny the customer service.

On Jan. 9, Jai Payton, or @jaielthomas on TikTok, posted a clip of them putting on personal protective equipment because they were “being forced to ring up a customer who was confirmed by 2 family members to have covid 19 and didn’t care if he went out in public,” according to the text overlay. The viral TikTok has over 417,000 views.

“I had to send my cashier outside and take over her line because she was having a panic attack,” Payton’s text overlay said next. “She CANNOT bring covid home to her grandparents.”

As the manager on duty, Payton shared that they “did not want to put any of my employees at risk under my watch.”

According to Payton, the sister of the COVID-positive customer called ahead to let the store know he was coming and what he was wearing so they could identify him.

Payton claimed they called their general store manager and corporate store manager and “they both said there’s nothing we can do and I cannot refuse him service.”

Payton put on three masks, a face shield, gloves, and used hand sanitizer to prepare for the customer.

“This is ridiculous!!” Payton wrote in the text overlay. “I have to put myself at risk as well as my employees and my customers just because Dollar Tree doesn’t wanna lose this guy’s buck.”

When the customer came in, Payton wrote that he didn’t have a mask and “was legit hacking all over the place!!”

“Corporate doesn’t see us as people with rights,” Payton said in another text overlay. “Only as bodies and slaves.”

Payton also wrote that they had a “mini freakout” because they have “lung issues.”

In the comments, Payton shared that they called the cops and was transferred to a COVID information hotline.

Commenters sided with Payton, with one viewer saying that they “would’ve been fired that day for lysoling him until he left.”

“You are a good manager for protecting your employees, but your life matters too and I wish corporate would’ve stood up for your life. I’m sorry-,” @gracekelly782 commented.

“And just like that I will NEVER step foot in a dollar tree again,” commented.

The Daily Dot has reached out to Payton via TikTok comment and the Dollar Tree via email.

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*First Published: Jan 10, 2022, 6:54 pm CST