English-only workplaces spark lawsuits – USATODAY.com

I’m going to phone this one in, but the whole article warrants reading.

I will say that every company has a right to require that their employees be able to speak fluent English. My hunch is a good chunk of these lawsuits do not involve companies who also are requiring that said employees couldn’t speak a foreign language off duty or on breaks. However, the article sort of lumps them all together. Has anyone seen any other articles on this? I’m not a USA Today fan anyway.



2 Responses to “English-only workplaces spark lawsuits – USATODAY.com”

  1. Rip Says:

    Take a look at the sidebar poll, which details the percentage of residents by state(ages 5 and up)who speak English less than “very well”. It says that 20.2% of Californians fit that description..amazing.

  2. Rothell Says:

    My girlfriend works in the Los Angeles County Hospital, which is a microcosm of L.A.’s culture. There you have a staff comprised of a variety of ethnicities: Persians, Indians, Chinese, Koreans, Japanese, Russians, Africans, African-Americans, Caucasians and more! The patients are probably less diverse. They are predominantly Mexican.

    I have a feeling that the motivation for English-only policies in businesses mentioned in the article stems from growing agitation caused by the overwhelming number of Spanish-speaking people (usually Mexican) living and working here today.

    Mona, my girlfriend, meets men and women patients from other cultures who, despite being middle-aged or older, are learning or are already proficient in English despite having lived here for as little as one or two years. Virtually all of these determined individuals are Asian. The patients who can’t or won’t speak English are Mexicans. There are Mexicans who have lived here for fifteen or twenty years who still can’t speak English. It is not uncommon here in L.A. to find yourself facing a Hispanic cashier in many business establishments (usually restaurants or grocery stores) who are unable to speak English. At the cash register!

    The tendency among any immigrants living anywhere to flock together is inevitable. You see this with Chinese in San Francisco or New York, with Polocks in Chicago, Persians in southern California. But most of these people arrive legally, are usually not poor, are often professionals, and have to know English to assimilate in the workplace. Mexicans arrive illegally, are destitute, usually have no skills and do work that requires next to no English. These people are typically from undereducated familes. This separates them from other cultures who’ve moved in. That is forgivable. But there is also an unwillingness or lack of interest among Mexican immigrants (illegal and legal) to learn English. This is not so forgivable. Mandating an English-only atmosphere at work is in my opinion purely the result of the ubiquity of millions of Spanish-speaking people not taking the responsibility to learn English.

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