Black Conservatives Blast Biden Admin’s ‘Soft Bigotry’ After It Sues Sheetz For Discrimination


Robert McGreevy Contributor
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Prominent black conservatives blasted President Biden and his administration for their discrimination lawsuit against Sheetz convenience stores.

Biden’s Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is suing gas station chain Sheetz for what they say are discriminatory hiring practices because Sheetz screens job applicants for criminal records, the lawsuit claims.

Sheetz “violated federal law by denying employment to a class of job applicants because of their race, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today,” the EEOC said in a Thursday press release.

“Sheetz has maintained a longstanding practice of screening all job applicants for records of criminal conviction and then denying them employment based on those records,” the EEOC statement alleges.

Multiple prominent black conservative figures lambasted Biden and the EEOC for the suit.

“The Democrats think everything is racist, even a business choosing not to hire individuals with a criminal record,” Republican Utah Congressman Burgess Owens told the Daily Caller. “If Joe Biden wants to end racial discrimination, he should confront his own soft bigotry of low expectations and drop this ridiculous lawsuit immediately,” Owens concluded.

“This lawsuit is way off base,” Republican candidate for North Carolina governor Mark Robinson told the Daily Caller. “With crime rising in cities across the state, businesses need to be able to have the right to be able to protect themselves, their employees and their customers. That includes screening potential applicants for a criminal history. Unlike my liberal opponent Josh Stein, as governor, I will stand up to President Biden’s far-left agenda and fight dangerous policies like this that threaten our economy and public safety,Robinson, North Carolina’s current Lieutenant Governor, concluded.  (RELATED: Biden Labor Regulator Rolls Out Final Rule Requiring Employers To Give Time Off For Abortions)

The EEOC specifically cited Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which bars employers from discriminating against someone on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin.

However, legal scholars contend the EEOC claim is baseless. “They’re wrong. When they tried to do this a decade ago they lost,” Heritage Foundation’s Hans A. von Spakovsky told the Daily Caller, citing the EEOC’s failed 2014 discrimination suit against the Kaplan Higher Education Corporation.

“The reason this is so ridiculous is this … particularly Sheetz. Think about what would happen if they hired an ex-con to work the cash register … Their liability would go through the roof,” von Spakovsky told the Daily Caller.

“The EEOC is using a dubious legal theory that they have no basis for through the law. It makes perfect sense for Sheetz to screen applicants for criminal history,” von Spakovsky concluded.

Sheetz denied the EEOC’s accusations, claiming they disavow discrimination in a statement to the Daily Caller.

“Sheetz does not tolerate discrimination of any kind. Diversity and inclusion are essential parts of who we are,” Sheetz PR manager Nick Ruffner told the Daily Caller in a statement.

“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.  We will address the claims in Court when the time comes,” Ruffner concluded.

The EEOC claims Sheetz’s hiring practices violate Title VII’s disparate impact statute, maintaining that screening potential employees for criminal background is discriminatory because it disproportionately affects black and indigenous people. Yet they also add the caveat that “The lawsuit does not allege that Sheetz was motivated by race when making hiring decisions.”

Academic and economist Professor Glenn Loury also noted the issue was a classic case of disparate impact. “The use of criminal history disproportionately disqualifies blacks because of the higher rate of criminal offending among them, but the relevance of criminal history to an employer is real and substantive,” Professor Loury told the Daily Caller.

Rather than protect minorities from discriminatory hiring practices, the EEOC’s criminal background check “Enforcement Guidance” decreases minority hiring rates and exposes employers to “crushing liability,” a 2012 Heritage Foundation legal memorandum found.

“At a time when the EEOC could be blazing a path forward for actual equality of opportunity for all American citizens–taking action after action against major corporations across the United States who boast about their racially discriminatory hiring and employment practices–the EEOC has decided that the highest and best use of its limited time is to file a legally meritless lawsuit against an American company for daring to do its part to protect public safety,” America First Legal Executive Director Gene Hamilton told the Daily Caller. “What the EEOC is doing is completely lawless. The lawsuit should be dismissed, and the EEOC should focus on combating illegal discrimination that the American people witness each and every day,” Hamilton concluded.

The Pennsylvania-based gas station and convenience operates in six states and has built up somewhat of a cult following. The chain, which President Biden visited on a recent campaign stop in Pittsburgh, is comparable to competitors like Wawa and Buc-ee’s.

Sheetz was ranked as the 60th best company to work for in America in 2024, according to Fortune magazine.