The America First Legal Foundation (AFL), a national nonprofit organization, has requested the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to launch an inquiry into individual or systemic discrimination by Anheuser-Busch, the North American subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch InBev, a publicly traded corporation based in St. Louis, Missouri.
In a letter addressed to the Director and the Regional Attorney of the EEOC’s St. Louis District Office, AFL claims that Anheuser-Busch is knowingly and intentionally discriminating against employees and job applicants based on race, color, national origin, and sex, in violation of federal law.
According to AFL, one of the examples of discriminatory practices by Anheuser-Busch is the Leadership Accelerator Program, which the company describes as a fast-track program to executive leadership positions in the North American Sustainability and Procurement department. The program is allegedly limited to candidates based on race, with Anheuser-Busch encouraging only those who identify as Black, Latinx, Native American, or historically underrepresented groups to apply. AFL argues that this is a clear violation of federal law that forbids employers from discriminating against employees or potential employees based on race, color, national origin, or sex.
AFL also cites Anheuser-Busch’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiative, which the company has made a global priority for its Senior Leadership Team, as evidence of discriminatory practices. AFL claims that Anheuser-Busch’s DEI strategy has resulted in the company’s preferential treatment of women, with an increase in the representation of women in top leadership positions. AFL argues that such sex-based hiring practices are also illegal under federal law.
Furthermore, AFL points to job training and scholarship programs launched by Anheuser-Busch that allegedly discriminate based on national origin and race, respectively. AFL argues that such programs violate federal law that prohibits employers from limiting, segregating, or classifying employees or applicants in any way that would deprive them of employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect their status as employees based on their race, color, national origin, or sex.
AFL concludes its letter by requesting the EEOC to issue a Commissioner’s charge, which would launch an investigation into Anheuser-Busch’s alleged discriminatory practices. AFL argues that there is ample reason to believe that Anheuser-Busch has knowingly and intentionally violated federal law and will continue to do so. AFL claims that discrimination based on immutable characteristics such as race, color, national origin, or sex generates a feeling of inferiority that may affect individuals’ hearts and minds in a way unlikely to ever be undone. AFL also argues that Anheuser-Busch’s discriminatory practices foment contention and resentment and are both patently illegal and deeply harmful. To read the letter, go to this link.
Anheuser-Busch has not yet responded publicly to AFL’s allegations. The EEOC has not issued a statement on whether it will launch an investigation into the matter.