Company News

Sheetz Drops Its ‘Smile Policy’

Employee complaints force retailer to rethink hiring rule
Sheetz convenience store
Photograph courtesy of Sheetz

Two weeks after former employees raised concerns about an employee-handbook policy at Sheetz, the convenience retailer has discontinued the hiring policy.

First reported by Business Insider, the so-called smile policy stated “applicants with obvious missing, broken or badly discolored teeth (unrelated to a disability) are not qualified for employment with Sheetz.”

It goes on to state: "Sheetz believes that an employee's smile during interactions with customers and coworkers is critical to creating the sense of hospitality in our stores that we strive for."

The publication’s inquiry about the rule prompted an immediate review the policy, and this week, the company discontinued the policy.

"Our culture at Sheetz has always been centered on respect and putting our employees, customers and communities first. As a family-owned and -operated company, nothing is more important than creating an environment that is inclusive and supportive of all of our employees,” Stephanie Doliveira, executive vice president of people and culture at Sheetz, said in a statement. “Recently through employee feedback, we have learned that the smile policy is not aligned with these values from their perspective. We agree. Effective immediately, this policy is discontinued. 

“We are committed to ensuring our policies moving forward are equitable and celebrate the diverse experiences, individual identities and unique perspectives of our employees."

  • Sheetz is No. 13 on CSP’s 2022 Top 202 ranking of U.S. convenience-store chains by company-owned store count.

The policy change comes at a time many retailers are struggling to hire employees, with record-low unemployment rates and other employment opportunities available.

In its Labor & the Search for Talent report, CSP listed a number of policy changes retailers are making to fill job positions, including accepting applicants with tattoos, employee family members and providing more opportunities for advancement.

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