The Discrimination of Nonnative Speakers in the Workplace
Chamberlain College of Nursing
SOCS-350N-21227: Cultural Diversity in the Professions
Fall Term September 2014
Latino, Woman and Accent Discrimination
Maria, an employee of Latino decent feels she was unfairly eliminated for a promotion because of her distinct accent; she has filed a complaint alleging the company has engaged in discriminatory practices. Evaluation
Maria is a good employee but is often loud and aggressive in her approach to co-workers and supervisors. The employee record shows there were problems with tardiness and attendance and twice supervisors for these infractions have counseled her. Maria has pointed out that she is the only Latino, person of color and woman in her department and states a supervisor stated she was not promoted because he feared clients would have trouble understanding her accent. Maria has been with the company for ten years and in her current position for seven. She holds a graduate degree and claims her low evaluations reflect a built in bias by her white male supervisors. Despite the fact that Alex, who too holds a graduate degree, has less time with the company, he had better performance evaluations than Maria and was offered the promotion.
The company is admitting that Maria’s accent was a factor in their decision but claim it they did not discriminate against Maria by not offering her the promotion related to her accent alone. The company also states that clear communication was an essential component of the job in question, but was it the only component needed. What does Maria do well that could have superseded this essential component? The company may have thought they were not discriminating against Maria but by acknowledging and then stating she was not being promoted solely based on the trouble of understanding her accent, the company has indeed engaged in discriminatory practices and I feel Maria may have a valid argument, and case against her employer. Latinos in America
Despite several decades of legislation and policies designed to eliminate unfair treatment, unfortunately individual and institutional discrimination still exist today (Pavalko, Mossakowski, & Hamilton, 2013, p. 27-28). The traditional focus of psychological research on prejudice and discrimination has been on black-white relations while research on the prejudice and discrimination of Latinos has been astonishingly rare (Dovidio, Gluszek, John, Ditlmann, & Lagunes, 2010, p.60). A review of articles on discrimination and prejudice in three of the leading social psychology journals revealed that sixty-one percent of articles focused on blacks whereas only seven percent of the articles focused on Latino discrimination and prejudice (Dovidio et al., 2010, p. 60). As of 2011, there were fifty million Hispanic people living in the United States accounting for sixteen percent of the nation's total population. African American individuals living in the United States accounted for forty three million people living in the United States therefore people of Hispanic origin account for the nation's largest ethnic or race minority living in the United States (United States Census Bureau, 2014, Table 1). Although Latinos earn an average of $6,000 dollars, more than blacks a year Latinos are still earning on average $15,000 less a year then Caucasians (Dovidio et al., 2010, p. 60). When it comes to educational attainment for those over twenty-five years of age 30.5% of whites, 17.3% of blacks and 12.5% of Latinos hold a bachelor’s degree or higher (Dovidio et al., 2010, p. 60).
As a registered nurse, I was shocked to discover that of all the registered nurses in the United States only 1.7% are of Latino decent (Moceri, 2012, ¶ 1). Upon reading this data I started paying attention to not only my unit but to others within the hospital, we have one Latino nurse out of twenty who work on my floor but inquiring of...
References: United States Census Bureau. (2014). Annual Estimates of the Resident Population by Sex, Race Alone or in Combination, and Hispanic Origin for the United States, States, and Counties: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2013. Retrieved from http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?src=bkmk
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