Can Business Management Require "English Only? - Even On Breaks?

Discussion in 'Law and Justice System' started by GotZoom, Aug 12, 2005.

  1. GotZoom
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    GotZoom Senior Member

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    The operators of 22 Supercuts hair salons in the Chicago area barred Hispanic employees from speaking Spanish to one another even while on break, a federal lawsuit alleged Thursday.

    The suit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission accused the owners of the stores, Primps L.L.C. and Management Advantage Group Inc., of discriminating on the basis of national origin with their "English only" rule.

    Managers at a Supercuts on South Michigan Avenue gave "dirty looks" and repeatedly reprimanded hairstylists for speaking Spanish in a break room or in the salon when clients weren't present, said Kamran Memon, an attorney for two hairstylists, Rosa Gonzalez and Blanca Sauceda. "Telling them they can't speak their own language sends the message that they are second-class citizens," Memon said.

    The suit was filed on behalf of an undetermined number of Latino women who work or formerly worked at the Supercuts franchises owned by the two businesses.

    The companies had no immediate comment on the lawsuit.

    John Hendrickson, the EEOC's regional attorney in Chicago, said the lawsuit was one of several filed by the agency in Chicago in recent years to address "English-only" rules in the workplace.

    In September 2003, the manager of the Supercuts on South Michigan Avenue posted a notice saying: "Attention everyone: Speaking a language other than English is not only disrespectful, it is also prohibited," Memon said.

    Gonzalez, who began working at the salon in 1995, and Sauceda, who became a full-time employee there in 2002, found the prohibition humiliating, Memon said. Both eventually quit because of the "uncomfortable working environment," he said.

    The suit seeks undisclosed monetary damages.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/...1,6592607.story?coll=chi-newslocalchicago-hed
     
  2. Said1
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    Said1 VIP Member

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    I think the language everyone understands should be spoken, out of respect. I've been in this situation many times myself, although I think forbidding other languages altogether is a bit extreme.
     
  3. Mr. P
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    Mr. P Senior Member

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    Personally, I hope the employer wins. It's their business.
    Heck, Ted Turn (CNN) has a "NO Smoking ever" policy, even when away from work or at home,
    it even includes contract people. Although I don't agree totally, it's his business.
     
  4. Shattered
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    If you're on company property, you follow company policy. Simple as that. You don't like it, go work for another company that has a policy more to your liking.
     
  5. pegwinn
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    pegwinn Top of the Food Chain

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    Uh oh. I am moveing away from my normal stereotypical right wing attitude. The employer is in the wrong if: The employee is not in a pay status. Obviously the employer can have an English only policy when on the clock. If while on break they are on the clock then the policy is valid. If they are off the clock then they should be allowed to do as they please.

    Now, sliding from moderate to the right theres an easy way to make the policy ironclad. Simply require the employees to sign the employment version of a prenup that stated all employees agreed that only English was spoken on company property regardless of duty status at the time. Many so-called right to privacy issues (like drug tests) are valid if it is understood to be a "condition of employment".

    BTW I totally support an English as the [state or federal] language legislation. But, as many have noted on other threads, what I do on my time is my business.
     
  6. Shattered
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    While on break, you are still on company property, and are expected to maintain company standards. If you're not on the clock, feel free to leave the building, and do as you please.. (I wouldn't recommend doing as you please, however, if you're wearing a company uniform..)
     
  7. Said1
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    Said1 VIP Member

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    Amazing, I think that's twice in two days that I've agreed with you! Must be the booze. :D

    Anyway, I hope your government squashes all this language bullshit and makes english your official language in order to avoid stuff like this. English only in businesses, no exceptions. Not like here, the french have several excuses for not hiring anglos and it's perfectly legal. grrrrr. hissss. booo.

    I guess there is the whole customer service thing, but why should you/we learn another language in order to accomdate them? Is that a mean thing to say? I mean really, how would they like it if someone passed a bill or law that forced them to learn how to speak english properly? Would that violate some type of human right? Probably.

    Actually, an anglophone in Quebec took the province to the UN (human rights tribunal or something) arguing that Quebec's language bill 101 was in violation of his human rights. The UN ruled in his favour, but our government did nothing. I guess they were the usual General Assembly "non-binding" type rulings. Canada sucks.......sometimes. Haha, imagine if the UN invaded Quebec "no one should be forced to speak french, it's not humane, almost akin to genocide or cross dressing or something cruel". :D

    Ok, ok. /rant off
     
  8. William Joyce
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    William Joyce Chemotherapy for PC

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    Good for Supercuts. I CANNOT STAND hearing the constant Spanish chatter in this country. It's not "diversity," it's an INVASION! I went to Wendy's a few weeks ago. The Hispanic woman behind the counter did not speak a word of English. Unbelievable. I called for the manager. He said, "Yeah, they should speak English, but there's not much I can do."

    Well, you can FIRE them --- except Uncle Sam will come down on you like a ton of bricks if you do.

    Nice country we got here. It's tough enough to put food on the table, pay taxes and avoid terrorism when YOU SPEAK ENGLISH! Actually, it's TOUGHER, because you're not one of the holy people protected by the Multi-Cultural New World Order. I think I'll just start refusing to speak English, paint myself black and run around naked committing crimes and urinating in public. I should become a millionaire eventually.
     
  9. LuvRPgrl
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    LuvRPgrl Senior Member

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    Would that agreement be written in spanish or english? hahha, if not in Spanish, their base language, it could be challenged that they didnt understand what they signed, unless of course you had an interpeter at the signing. WHew,! whatta lota work.
     
  10. LuvRPgrl
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    LuvRPgrl Senior Member

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    Fight back with your dollar. While the manager is there, make a huge order, then when the person talks in spanish, speak out loud, "oh, I cant understand what they are saying, they need to speak in english, if I cant understand what they are saying about my order, I will take my business elsewhere" and then walk out. Get a few others to do the same, it will make a change. If you dont, then you are just playing the victim role.

    People often think their complaints wont do any good, trust me, they OFTEN do. I got the local Salvation Army store manager transferred from the most highly desired location to work in, to the worst, by complaining to corp HQ's.
     

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