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  1. #11
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    Default Re: Employees That Can Speak English but They Be Speaking Spanish when We Are at Work

    Quote Quoting cbg
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    Since my birth country has two national languages and manages to get along just fine, it's always been a puzzle to me why so many people get bent out of shape by the concept that someone else might want to speak in a language that isn't theirs.
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    Funny Canadian story: an 89-year-old Turkish man was being sponsored to live in Canada with his Turkish-Canadian family in Toronto (where mainly English is spoken). Everything was good to go, paperwork all done and approved, and then he got on a plane to Montreal (where mainly French is spoken). When he got off the plane in Montreal, he was immediately bunged into a new immigrant hostel and sent off to daily French classes. Meanwhile his family in Toronto waited and waited for him, got upset, talked to the guvmint (who didn't know where he was), talked to people in Turkey (no he's not there anymore, he's long gone to Canada), figured he was wandering lost in Toronto (some undiagnosed dementia problems maybe?), called the police, put out flyers, and generally freaked out for a couple of months. Finally he learned enough French to deduce that he was in the wrong city and that no, he wasn't legally required to continue his French classes in Montreal, so he hopped on a train to Toronto. He took a cab to his family's house and voila! A reunion! I found all this out when they brought him to me (I worked for Canada Immigration at the time), asking to schedule him in to some English classes.

  2. #12
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    Default Re: Employees That Can Speak English but They Be Speaking Spanish when We Are at Work

    Learning English here in the U.S. isn't a law, but should be a pretty darn-good thing to learn unless you want to do hard labor, cleaning, landscaping and lawn maintenance jobs for the rest of your life while living in America. Try entering the corporate field while only speaking Spanish?
    While speaking Spanish and English can help one find a job in the U.S., not all company's depend on you speaking Spanish. Try ordering a meal at McDonald's, a coffee from Starbucks, paying your phone bill or filing an application out for an apartment while only speaking Spanish.
    When President Trump took office I remember in the news that a Spanish lady was being sent home from ICE as she entered America illegally 28 years ago. She had met a guy and had three children from him here in the U.S. The news made it the presidents fault that the family was being torn apart, not that she entered the country illegally and never tried to seek residency. The kicker for this was when the news crew interviewed this lady, she could only speak Spanish. You mean to tell me that in the 28 years that you were here illegally, you couldn't learn to speak one word of English?

  3. #13
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    Default Re: Employees That Can Speak English but They Be Speaking Spanish when We Are at Work

    Not all companies do, but they legally can. The ability to learn a language is not based in national origin or any other characteristic protected by law (I have a co-worker who speaks four languages fluently - her national origin is akin to only one of the four) so if an employer wants you to be able to speak Spanish (or Japanese, or Russian or Arabic) there's no illegal discrimination about it.

  4. #14
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    Default Re: Employees That Can Speak English but They Be Speaking Spanish when We Are at Work

    You're going to have to realize that technically English is only a traditional language in the United States. There's nothing federally that makes it official.

    It has always been the case that people have spoken the language of their heritage in the US back to the colonial times. About the only people who have been systematically abused over speaking their native language however are the native Americans.

    As pointed out, employers have large leeway in what languages can and must be used in their businesses.

  5. #15
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    Default Re: Employees That Can Speak English but They Be Speaking Spanish when We Are at Work

    I work for a large corporation with over 500 employees and we are only allowed by our company to speak English while on company property even if you're on lunch in the lunchroom. And that is with a Union contract.

    Most company's that want a bilengul person are due to the fact that they need someone that speaks Spanish to deal with their Spanish speaking customers.

  6. #16
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    Default Re: Employees That Can Speak English but They Be Speaking Spanish when We Are at Work

    Then your corporation better be prepared to write a whole lot of zeros on a check if anyone ever complains to the EEOC since that policy is illegal.

  7. #17
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    Oct 2014
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    Default Re: Employees That Can Speak English but They Be Speaking Spanish when We Are at Work

    Quote Quoting Who'sThatGuy
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    I work for a large corporation with over 500 employees and we are only allowed by our company to speak English while on company property even if you're on lunch in the lunchroom. And that is with a Union contract.
    The company is fortunate that no one has complained to the EEOC about that rule. It may indeed violate the law by requiring employees to speak English in non business circumstances (e.g at lunch, while on break) as that may amount to illegal discrimination based on race or national origin. The fact that a union has blessed it or at least hasn’t complained about it doesn’t make an illegal rule somehow legal.

    Quote Quoting Who'sThatGuy
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    Try ordering a meal at McDonald's, a coffee from Starbucks, paying your phone bill or filing an application out for an apartment while only speaking Spanish.
    In my area a Spanish-only speaker could do all of those things with no problem.

  8. #18
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    Default Re: Employees That Can Speak English but They Be Speaking Spanish when We Are at Work

    Quote Quoting cbg
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    Then your corporation better be prepared to write a whole lot of zeros on a check if anyone ever complains to the EEOC since that policy is illegal.
    My past and current employer both have English speaking practice only while on company property. They say this because it protects all employees.

    If I were speaking with another employee in Italian, they don't want an English speaking only employee to think that we are talking about them in Italian creating a conflict. Everyone speaks English and everyone knows what they are talking about.

  9. #19
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    Default Re: Employees That Can Speak English but They Be Speaking Spanish when We Are at Work

    Okay, they can tell that to the EEOC. Just because more than one company is breaking the law doesn't make it legal.

    English only practices are fine, as long as it's limited to business conversations. English only for personal conversations, particularly on lunch or break, have been found to be discriminatory. If you've got paranoid employees who think that every conversation they can't understand is about them, then that's something they're just going to have to deal with.

  10. #20
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    Default Re: Employees That Can Speak English but They Be Speaking Spanish when We Are at Work

    Quote Quoting cbg
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    Okay, they can tell that to the EEOC. Just because more than one company is breaking the law doesn't make it legal.

    English only practices are fine, as long as it's limited to business conversations. English only for personal conversations, particularly on lunch or break, have been found to be discriminatory. If you've got paranoid employees who think that every conversation they can't understand is about them, then that's something they're just going to have to deal with.
    The company's key word is "safety".

    I'm in a warehouse and see a hot water heater that weighs 250 lbs. and is packaged in a crate fall from a very high shelf. There are several English only speaking employee's under that shelf. I yell in Italian, Attenzione!

    EEOC can file what they wish, they will not win. I'm sure it has been tried before.

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