English Only or Not?

Topics: Discrimination, Employment, Second language Pages: 6 (1741 words) Published: March 13, 2013
English Only or Not?

Table of Content



2.English only Policies

3.Lawsuits of Discriminations

4.EEOC vs. Pro English


6.Works Cited

English Only or Not?

In the United States we are filled with different cultures and backgrounds form other countries, for that reason many other languages other than English are often spoken in the workplace and public areas without thinking how other people around them may feel not understanding the language. People that only speak English often feel as they are being talked and gossiped about causing an uncomfortable situation in the workplace. Over forty percent of Californians speak a foreign language. In some businesses they have implemented English only policies were the employee can only speak English while at work and can be reprimanded if they speak any other language other than English. There are policies that are in place in order to justify an English-only rule in a business. Some policies for English only will be explained later in this research paper.

There have been many lawsuits that people have won over $800,000 for being discriminate against but other lawsuits that have been thrown out for unjustified cause as well. In 1996 there was only about thirty lawsuits with the EEOC and has more than tripled in the last ten years. Many issues arise with this issue since some businesses have allowed one foreign language to be spoken in the work place but discriminate against another language. There have also been issues with not allowing employees to speak their foreign language during their lunch and breaks due to other employees not able to understand their conversation causing discrimination once again. Some employees feel like second class citizens because they want to speak their foreign language and are not allowed to since they have the possibility of losing their jobs for not speaking English at all times.

Policies are in place in order to help businesses understand and possibly start the policy of the English-only if it would apply to that certain type of business the owners are running. Policy guidance for Employers deciding to adopt an English-only policy should be certain the policy contains several safeguards: The policy should be narrowly tailored to its legitimate business purposes. For communication with customers, coworkers, or managers who only speak English. There will rarely be any business justification for prohibiting employees from speaking a foreign language during breaks, meals and other non-working times. The policy should be nondiscriminatory. It should apply to all employees equally and not only to one ethnic group or one foreign language. Another policy is in emergencies or other situations in which employees must speak all the same language to promote safety.

Situations for cooperative work assignments in which the English-only rule is needed to promote efficiency and to enable a supervisor who only speaks English to monitor the performance of an employee whose job duties required communication with coworkers or customers. For example the Federal Aviation Administration requires their air traffic controllers to be able to speak English clearly in order to be understood over the radio for safety reasons.

In California, as of January 1, 2002, there is a specific legal provision which makes it illegal for an employer to adopt or enforce a policy that limits or prohibits the use of any language in any workplace, unless both of the following conditions exist: First the language restriction is justified by a business necessity; and second the employer has notified its employees of the circumstances and the time when the language restriction is required to be observed and of the consequences for violating the language restriction. In Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho,...
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