IF ONLY IT REALLY WERE NEWS:  The internet is treating this as news:  The EEOC is suing Sheetz convenience stores, because Sheetz conducts criminal background checks on its job applicants and then declines to hire the ones who are criminals.  The EEOC concedes that Sheetz is not motivated by a desire to exclude African American men, but argues that because a higher percentage of African American men than of white, Hispanic, or Asian men, or of women have criminal records, Sheetz is “discriminating” against African American men within the meaning of Title VII.

In other words, Sheetz is REQUIRED to hire felons even if it doesn’t want to.

Welcome to the world we live in.  The EEOC has been doing this for a long time.  It’s crazy.  But that’s only because disparate impact liability is crazyRead about it here (including a long discussion of liability for declining to hire convicted felons).

Martin Luther King looked forward to the day that his children could be judged by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin.  Alas, the content of our character (as revealed by our criminal record) is off limits in hiring.  But hiring by the color of our skin is considered virtuous.  Weren’t we supposed to have made a lot more progress on this by now?

I am so tired of lily-livered Members of Congress who get that deer in the headlights look when you point out how that they could actually stop this nonsense.  They don’t even try.

P.S.  If you are concerned that felons need jobs or else they will wind up in prison again, I agree that’s a problem.  It’s just not a Title VII problem.  Members of the 88th Congress would have choked on their lunch if they knew how the EEOC would mistreat employers who just want to avoid hiring felons.  The federal government actually has a program under which employers get a tax break for hiring ex-cons.  Such a program makes much more sense than the EEOC’s approach, because it is voluntary.  Some jobs present fewer temptations than others.  Some ex-cons are better bets than others.  A tax subsidy allows employers who are in a good position to hire ex-cons to self-select.