Feds Suing Wisconsin Company For Requiring Employees To Speak and Understand English…

justice_scalesWISCONSIN – The United States government is actually suing a private American business for discriminating against Hispanic and Asian employees because they don’t speak English on the job.

It involves a Green Bay Wisconsin metal and plastic manufacturer that fired a group of Hmong and Hispanic workers over their English skills, “even though those skills were not needed to perform their jobs,” according to the feds. More importantly, forcing employees to speak English in the U.S. violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, says the Obama administration.

Here’s the twisted explanation from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency that enforces the nation’s workplace discrimination laws; the Civil Rights Act protects employees from discrimination based on national origin, which includes the linguistic characteristics of a national origin group.

Therefore, according to this reasoning, foreigners have the right to speak their native language even during work hours at an American company that requires English.

Requirements of English fluency and so-called English only rules are often implemented to make what is really discrimination appear acceptable, says the government attorney handling this case. “But superficial appearances are not fooling anyone,” he assures.

“When speaking English fluently is not, in fact, required for the safe and effective performance of a job, nor for the successful operation of the employer’s business, requiring employees to be fluent in English usually constitutes employment discrimination on the basis of national origin — and thus violates federal law.”  (read more)

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13 Responses to Feds Suing Wisconsin Company For Requiring Employees To Speak and Understand English…

  1. Chip Bennett says:

    Hmm:

    It involves a Green Bay Wisconsin metal and plastic manufacturer…

    Versus:

    When speaking English fluently is not, in fact, required for the safe and effective performance of a job…

    Let’s start with effective. A “metal and plastic manufacturer”, I’m guessing, uses several large pieces of manufacturing equipment, that require operation and maintenance by trained personnel. Training on such equipment must be conducted by the employer. I couldn’t possibly imagine how the trainee not being able to speak English could impact the effectiveness of such training.

    But much more importantly: let’s talk about safety. Plastic injection molding and assembly, metal fabricating, stamping, and painting, warehousing, etc. – all of those processes have inherent safety concerns that require training to understand engineering controls, administrative controls, and required personal protective equipment. None of that training is possible if the trainees cannot speak the same language as the trainer. Allowing someone to work without such training and without even the ability to understand instructions or warnings from their supervisor would be absolutely unethical.

    God, save us from the mental midgets running the country.

    Like

  2. joshua says:

    so hollering “FIRE” or “BOMB” or “POLICE RAID, EVERYONE ON THE FLOOR FACE DOWN” is just not important because those are spoken ONLY IN ENGLISH IN EMERGENCIES OR IN POLICE ACTION IN THE USA? The next time a policeman stops a non English speaker, does the policeman have to speak that person’s native language in order to not violate the person’s CIVIL RIGHTS? Are Miranda rights given in the language of the perp, or just in English assuming the police actually speak English and not Brooklynese?

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  3. Federale says:

    The theory on English in the workplace has never been successful before a court of law. The company will win if they fight this.

    Like

    • LetJusticePrevail" says:

      But now we have new judges who have their own ideas about how the law should be interpreted. This will go all the way to the SCOTUS if that company decides to keep fighting. You can rest assured that the EEOC will take it that far, if they lose in the lower courts.

      Like

  4. tdwesselman says:

    Being a Controls Engineer that actually designs these types of machines, I can say that Chris is absolutely correct.

    Like

  5. BertDilbert says:

    Maybe they should move to China.

    Like

  6. justfactsplz says:

    This is another double standard. Many businesses now require employees to speak Spanish and nothing is said about that. I have seen a lot of ads indicating a prospective employee must be bilingual.

    Like

  7. hoonan says:

    One curious thing….if they fired them…. why did they hire them in the first place if they couldn’t speak english or had poor english skills?

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  8. akathesob says:

    When?

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  10. Chuck Lyle says:

    Federal law itself requires that a person “Be able to read, write, and understand the English language and speak it without accent or impediment of speech that would interfere with two-way communication”, except form Federal Aviation Regulation Part 61, Subpart F – Airline Transport Pilots, para and line 61.151c. An Airline Transport Pilot certificate is a condition of employment for our major airlines.

    Like

  11. M. Spensor says:

    Interesting because under 14 CFR Part 61 of the Federal Aviation Administration to gain a pilot certificate one must be able to “speak, read and understand English”. I this now a double standard?

    Like

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