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  1. #1
    davidchris is offline Junior Member
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    No Spanish speaking???

    Hello, I would like to ask a question pertaing to possible job discrimination. My employer is enforcing a no spanish speaking environment. It's at the point that we are now comfronted in front of other employees by being told to stop speaking Spanish. Two individuals have been given a write up and it's created a very hostile work environment. We are on the distribution side of this company, so no customer interaction. I myself am Mexican and was embarrassed for a fellow employee that was repremanded in front of several employees. As of today, no one in management is to discipline any employee for speaking Spanish. H & R was notified of the situation by a fellow employee. What angers me is our building is a melting pot of Flilpinos, Russians, and Mexicans and only the Spanish speaking individuals have been singled out.
  2. #2
    debtcollector` is offline Senior Member
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    What state are you in?
  3. #3
    davidchris is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by debtcollector` View Post
    What state are you in?
    California
  4. #4
    OHRoadwarrior is offline Senior Member
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    The language of the US is English. It appears management wants to know what their employees are saying. They do not appear to be discriminating. They appear to be saying use English or do not talk at work.
  5. #5
    Ohiogal is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by OHRoadwarrior View Post
    The language of the US is English. It appears management wants to know what their employees are saying. They do not appear to be discriminating. They appear to be saying use English or do not talk at work.
    You are completely wrong. The United States has NO national language by law or statute. The employers are disciminating.
    Parents should remember 3 things: Love your kids more than you hate your ex; when you have children the relationship with the other parent is until death; your children determine what type of nursing home you end up in.
    Nothing stated by me should be taken as giving you legal advice or forming an attorney/client relationship.

    Attorney-GAL in Ohio.

    I've removed the knife from my back, polished it, and will one day return it -- long after you think I have forgotten.
  6. #6
    cbg
    cbg is offline Senior Member
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    FYI, the term "hostile work environment" has a very specific meaning under the law. It doesn't matter how unpleasant the atmosphere at work may be; it isn't a hostile work environment unless the legal definition is met.

    An employer absolutely may enforce an English-only rule with regards to work. It is less clear whether he may do so with regards to breaks or meal times. It certainly couldn't hurt to run your situation past an employment law attorney, the DFEH or the EEOC.
    Two things I am tired of typing: 1.) A wrongful termination does not mean that you were fired for something you didn't do; it means that you were fired for a reason prohibited by law. 2.) The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding contract or CBA expressly says otherwise. If it does, the terms of the contract apply.
  7. #7
    Stevef is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ohiogal View Post
    The employers are disciminating.
    I was going to ask if this is ILLEGAL discrimination, but thought I'd look it up for myself. (See, he can be taught).

    http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/publications/immigrants-facts.cfm

    Speak-English –Only Rules

    The EEOC has stated that rules requiring employees to speak only English in the workplace violate the law unless they are reasonable necessary to the operation of the business.

    [list][*]A rule requiring employees to speak only English in the workplace at all times, including breaks and lunch time, will rarely be justified.[*]An English-only rule should be limited to the circumstances in which it is needed for the employer to operate safely or efficiently.[*]Circumstances in which an English-only rule may be justified include: communications with customers or coworkers who only speak English; emergencies or other situations in which workers must speak a common language to promote safety; cooperative work assignments in which the English-only rule is needed to promote efficiency.[/list]
    Even if there is a need for an English-only rule, an employer may not take disciplinary action against an employee for violating the rule unless the employer has notified workers about the rule and the consequences of violating it.
  8. #8
    Ohiogal is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevef View Post
    I was going to ask if this is ILLEGAL discrimination, but thought I'd look it up for myself. (See, he can be taught).

    http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/publications/immigrants-facts.cfm
    Thanks for posting that. I appreciate it.
    Parents should remember 3 things: Love your kids more than you hate your ex; when you have children the relationship with the other parent is until death; your children determine what type of nursing home you end up in.
    Nothing stated by me should be taken as giving you legal advice or forming an attorney/client relationship.

    Attorney-GAL in Ohio.

    I've removed the knife from my back, polished it, and will one day return it -- long after you think I have forgotten.
  9. #9
    HomeGuru is offline Senior Member
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    The OP has not provided the complete facts as to why a foreign language is not allowed to be spoke. The employer may be in compliance with the law.
  10. #10
    davidchris is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by HomeGuru View Post
    The OP has not provided the complete facts as to why a foreign language is not allowed to be spoke. The employer may be in compliance with the law.
    The company feels that when Spanish is spoken some individuals that do not speak Spanish may not know they are being talked about in a derogatory manner. Two supervisors are fluent in both Spanish & English and speak Spanish to the employees as well. We understand that the company is within the law in regards to a Spanish speaking environment. However, people, mainly the Spanish speaking have been singled out. This has created hostile and embarassing situations when individuals have been repremanded in front of others. From what I understand this same approach was unsuccessful on the production side of the plant. The company hires nothing but temps that speak Spanish and broken English and if need be will hire from this temp agency. What is confusing is they want a English speaking environment yet two supervisors our notorious for speaking in English to individuals and Spanish to the Hispanics.
  11. #11
    HomeGuru is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidchris View Post
    The company feels that when Spanish is spoken some individuals that do not speak Spanish may not know they are being talked about in a derogatory manner. Two supervisors are fluent in both Spanish & English and speak Spanish to the employees as well. We understand that the company is within the law in regards to a Spanish speaking environment. However, people, mainly the Spanish speaking have been singled out. This has created hostile and embarassing situations when individuals have been repremanded in front of others. From what I understand this same approach was unsuccessful on the production side of the plant. The company hires nothing but temps that speak Spanish and broken English and if need be will hire from this temp agency. What is confusing is they want a English speaking environment yet two supervisors our notorious for speaking in English to individuals and Spanish to the Hispanics.
    **A: you need to talk to HR regarding the company policy.
  12. #12
    davew128 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ohiogal View Post
    The employers are disciminating.
    Good for them. Uniformity of communication in the workplace increases productivity.
  13. #13
    OHRoadwarrior is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ohiogal View Post
    You are completely wrong. The United States has NO national language by law or statute. The employers are disciminating.
    The "distribution" side of the business means the warehouse. There is a reason they need to be speaking English. I do apologize though, I was curt in my answer and did not properly complete an explanation, thus making me wrong.
    Last edited by OHRoadwarrior; 04-06-2013 at 11:33 PM.
  14. #14
    Ohiogal is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by davew128 View Post
    Good for them. Uniformity of communication in the workplace increases productivity.
    And has been said hundreds of times on THIS website, not all discrimination is illegal. Nor did I say that the employers were necessarily ILLEGALLY discrminating. It is possible that they are.
    Parents should remember 3 things: Love your kids more than you hate your ex; when you have children the relationship with the other parent is until death; your children determine what type of nursing home you end up in.
    Nothing stated by me should be taken as giving you legal advice or forming an attorney/client relationship.

    Attorney-GAL in Ohio.

    I've removed the knife from my back, polished it, and will one day return it -- long after you think I have forgotten.
  15. #15
    Stevef is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by HomeGuru View Post
    The OP has not provided the complete facts as to why a foreign language is not allowed to be spoke. The employer may be in compliance with the law.
    OP has inferred that only Spanish is banned. Russian and Filipino are not.

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