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Lawsuit claims Sheetz denied employment to class of job applicants because of their race

A lawsuit claims Sheetz violated federal law by denying employment to a class of job applicants because of their race.

Sheetz, which has over 600 locations in six states, has maintained a longstanding practice of screening all job applicants for records of criminal conviction and then denying them employment based on those records, according to the lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The EEOC claims that Sheetz’s hiring practices disproportionately screened out Black, Native American/Alaska Native and multiracial applicants. Sheetz’s hiring practices violated provisions of Title VII that prohibit disparate impact discrimination, the EEOC says. The lawsuit does not allege that Sheetz was motivated by race when making hiring decisions.

The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland after the EEOC first attempted to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process, according to a news release.

“This highlights the significance of the observance of April as Second Chance Month, underscoring our nation’s commitment to reintegrating individuals with criminal records into society by ensuring they have fair access to employment and other essential services,” said EEOC Philadelphia District Office Director Jamie R. Williamson. “To that end, the EEOC is dedicated to making sure that individuals with criminal records are not unlawfully excluded from employment opportunities because of race.”

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