Biden admin slaps convenience store chain with ‘insane’ lawsuit same day as Joe’s awkward campaign stop

While President Joe Biden was trying to appear as “average Joe” to Americans with a stop at a Pennsylvania-based convenience store, his administration hit the company with a discrimination lawsuit.

The same day Biden made an awkward campaign stop at the Pittsburgh location of the Sheetz store, the company, Sheetz Inc., with more than 700 stores in six states, was hit with a lawsuit alleging discrimination against Native American, black and multiracial jobseekers. The alleged discrimination against the minority job applicants occurred through the company’s system of weeding out those who failed a criminal background check.

“The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed suit in Baltimore against Altoona, Pennsylvania-based Sheetz and two subsidary companies, alleging the chain’s longstanding hiring practices have a disproportionate impact on minority applicants and thus run afoul of federal civil rights law,” the Associated Press reported.

“Federal officials said they do not allege Sheetz was motivated by racial animus, but take issue with the way the chain uses criminal background checks to screen job seekers. The company was sued under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits workplace discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion and national origin,” the AP reported.

The family-run company with more than 23,000 employees asserted that it “does not tolerate discrimination of any kind.”

“Diversity and inclusion are essential parts of who we are. We take these allegations seriously. We have attempted to work with the EEOC for nearly eight years to find common ground and resolve this dispute,” Nick Ruffner, a company spokesperson, said in a statement.

Biden made another pandering attempt to connect with regular Americans as he made the stop at the Pennsylvania gas station last week that proved to be nothing short of awkward. He could have been any other customer at the Sheetz store as he shuffled in with little fanfare and was not swarmed by adoring voters, ordering sandwiches and other food items before exiting.

The EEOC is looking to make Sheetz provide back pay and retroactive seniority to any applicants who were denied jobs through the system the company used.

“The agency found that Black job applicants were deemed to have failed the company’s criminal history screening and were denied employment at a rate of 14.5%, while multiracial job seekers were turned away 13.5% of the time and Native Americans were denied at a rate of 13%,” the AP reported. “By contrast, fewer than 8% of white applicants were refused employment because of a failed criminal background check, the EEOC’s lawsuit said.”

In a statement, EEOC attorney Debra M. Lawrence said that federal law “mandates that employment practices causing a disparate impact because of race or other protected classifications must be shown by the employer to be necessary to ensure the safe and efficient performance of the particular jobs at issue.”

“Even when such necessity is proven, the practice remains unlawful if there is an alternative practice available that is comparably effective in achieving the employer’s goals but causes less discriminatory effect,” Lawrence added.

The lawsuit, coming at the same time as Biden’s touted pit stop at the Pittsburgh location, sparked plenty of outrage on social media where even X owner Elon Musk remarked, “This is crazy.”

Frieda Powers

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