Biden Admin Sues Sheetz For Alleged Discrimination in Hiring Process

The Biden administration filed a lawsuit against Sheetz convenience stores just one day after the President stopped at an outlet and was met with relative silence. One supporter met President Biden by the door and hugged him, but media reports say others appeared unimpressed and did not rush to greet him. The following day, the administration sued Sheetz for racial discrimination over its decision not to hire convicted felons.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released a statement on April 18 stating that Sheetz denied opportunities to people because of their race in violation of federal law. Sheetz Inc., Sheetz Distribution Services LLC., and CLI Transport LP are named in the suit. Sheetz owns more than 600 outlets across six states and screens all job applicants for criminal conviction records. The EEOC argues that this policy disproportionately disadvantages people of black or Native American background and is, therefore, discriminatory.

A spokesperson for Sheetz denied any discrimination and said, “Diversity and inclusion are essential parts of who we are.” Nick Ruffner added that his company has “attempted to work” with the EEOC for years to find a resolution and a compromise but to no avail.

Sheetz is family-owned and employs over 23,000 people in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, Ohio, and North Carolina. The EEOC claims the company has engaged in unlawful hiring practices since 2015, which came to light after two failed job applicants formally complained.

The agency is seeking financial compensation for disappointed job seekers. It says 14.5% of black applicants failed background checks, 13.5% of mixed-race applicants, and 13% of Native Americans. Fewer than 8% of white job seekers failed the criminal records check, the EEOC adds.

President Biden reportedly visited an outlet just outside Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on April 17 to buy sandwiches for nearby construction workers. In a subsequent statement, a Sheetz spokesperson said, “Everyone loves a good Sheetz Run, even the President of the United States.”