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Old 07-02-2014, 03:10 PM  
jaa1025 jaa1025 is offline
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Feds sue Wisc business for English requirement

Disgusting. I know that we don't have an "official language" but it's understood as such.

http://cnsnews.com/news/article/brit...glish-language

Federal Gov’t Sues Wisconsin Company, Says English-Language Requirement is 'Discrimination'
July 2, 2014 - 3:05 PM
By Brittany M. Hughes


Federal Gov’t Sues Wisconsin Company Over ‘Discriminating’ English-Language Requirement
(CNSNews.com) -- The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), a federal agency tasked with enforcing workplace discrimination laws, is suing a private American business for firing a group of Hispanic and Asian employees over their inability to speak English at work, claiming that the English-language requirement in a U.S. business constitutes “discrimination.”

Judicial Watch reported Tuesday that the government is accusing Wisconsin Plastics, Inc. of violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination based on “national origin.” The government argues this includes the “linguistic characteristics of a national origin group.”

Irene Garcia, the blog editor and Spanish media liaison for Judicial Watch, called the EEOC’s accusation “ludicrous.”

“That’s ludicrous and an overreaching of government,” Garcia told CNSNews.com. “If you are a private company in the United States, you should be able to require your employees to speak English.”

According to a news release from the EEOC, Chicago Regional Attorney John C. Hendrickson said the Green Bay-based company’s English requirement is based on “superficial” reasoning.

plastic
(AP Photo)

"Our experience at the EEOC has been that so-called 'English only' rules and requirements of English fluency are often employed to make what is really discrimination appear acceptable. But superficial appearances are not fooling anyone,” Hendrickson said in the release. “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.”

But Garcia said the ability to speak English is necessary for employees of Wisconsin Plastics, Inc., but that the employees in question “were not able to speak English at any kind of level that would be considered proficient.”

“In this case some English is necessary to communicate with supervisors and stuff like that, and the EEOC just went after this private company because some employees were being marked down for not having English skills. So that doesn’t really make sense,” she said.

Federal Gov’t Sues Wisconsin Company Over ‘Discriminating’ English-Language Requirement
(AP Photo)

Garcia added that the lawsuit, filed on June 9, is just the latest in a slew of attempts by the EEOC and the Obama administration to go after American businesses for so-called “discrimination.” She cited numerous cases in which the EEOC has accused businesses of discriminating by requiring workers to speak English, running background and criminal checks, and enforcing company-wide restrictions on head coverings, including those worn by some Muslim women.

“We’ve seen some decisions that are kind of radical that we haven’t seen in the past, under Republican or Democrat administrations,” she said, claiming the EEOC under the Obama administration is “on a roll.”

Many lawsuits brought by the EEOC subjectively twist the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include things it was never meant to cover, Garcia added.

“We’re seeing a lot of these kinds of law suits using his civil rights law to sue on behalf of all these different causes that I believe violate the spirit of the law,” Garcia explained.

“In terms of religious and language rights under the Civil Rights Act, that’s what the administration is using to offer and extend protects when really and truly there’s no place for them [in the law],” she said.
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Old 07-02-2014, 03:36 PM   #2
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But it's okay to require bilingual speakers? When I lived in Arizona, there were many job positions advertised as needing to be bilingual. And no. These were not translator jobs. These were general service industry jobs.
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Old 07-02-2014, 04:09 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjjayb View Post
But it's okay to require bilingual speakers? When I lived in Arizona, there were many job positions advertised as needing to be bilingual. And no. These were not translator jobs. These were general service industry jobs.
Quote:
“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.”
Depending on the job, I could see it going either way. Here, it looks like they're saying that working on an assembly line doesn't require english. Could be that you could require someone to be bi-lingual who was a manager or supervisor because they do hire non-english speaking workers.
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Old 07-02-2014, 04:38 PM   #4
jaa1025 jaa1025 is offline
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Depending on the job, I could see it going either way. Here, it looks like they're saying that working on an assembly line doesn't require english. Could be that you could require someone to be bi-lingual who was a manager or supervisor because they do hire non-english speaking workers.
There is no job in America that english shouldn't be required. It's a safety hazard for that subject and for coworkers that are working and that is all that is needed.
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Old 07-02-2014, 04:40 PM   #5
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I really wouldn't expect to get an accurate picture of the actual situation from cnsnews.com.

I would think that, depending on the actual duties, it is not discriminatory to require some level of English. You have to at least be able to communicate with customers or supervisors or co-workers or whatever, depending on the job. But I guess I wonder how these people got hired in the first place if their English was SO BAD that they can't even perform their jobs. Seems like that would have been evident in any interview.
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Old 07-02-2014, 04:42 PM   #6
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Why did they hire them in the first place if speaking English is a requirement for the job?
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Old 07-02-2014, 04:58 PM   #7
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Feds sue Wisc business for English requirement

So the way I see it they hired the cheapest workers they could find and fired them when they realized their mistake. Too bad. They should have not been so stupid to begin with.

That being said I am sure the argument could be made needing to speak English at this place is a legitimate requirement and in most other cases I would agree as well that English needs to be spoken at least in part.

If it was so important on the job maybe then they shouldn't hire them in the first place, otherwise their actions of firing contradict their actions of hiring. Unless of course the topic of their inability to speak English was somehow glossed over during the interviews.
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Old 07-02-2014, 05:01 PM   #8
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They fired them... Which means they hired them.

Since it's unlikely that they forgot english while working there, the reasoning DOES sound like bullshit they pulled out of their asses to justify it.
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Old 07-02-2014, 05:22 PM   #9
jaa1025 jaa1025 is offline
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Originally Posted by mr. tegu View Post
So the way I see it they hired the cheapest workers they could find and fired them when they realized their mistake. Too bad. They should have not been so stupid to begin with and they should have cited performance, not language as the reason they were fired once they realized their mistakes.
This and potential votes are the only reason there is a push for amnesty. Votes for the left and cheap labor for certain republicans.
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Old 07-02-2014, 05:23 PM   #10
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Geezaz, I sometimes ask for person who speaks English as their native language when I am having trouble communicating with one of those foreign call centers regarding my credit card. It drives me nuts!
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Old 07-02-2014, 05:38 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cosmo20002 View Post
I really wouldn't expect to get an accurate picture of the actual situation from cnsnews.com.

I would think that, depending on the actual duties, it is not discriminatory to require some level of English. You have to at least be able to communicate with customers or supervisors or co-workers or whatever, depending on the job. But I guess I wonder how these people got hired in the first place if their English was SO BAD that they can't even perform their jobs. Seems like that would have been evident in any interview.
I thought it looked suspect too, but most of it is drawn from the EEOC website:

http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/6-9-14.cfm

Looks like the author did a confusing job of explaining that the employer's excuse looked phony.
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Old 07-02-2014, 05:48 PM   #12
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If today's EEOC is asserting that solely foreign language fluency is intrinsic to national origin, it flies in the face of their prior existing guidelines.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2002 EEOC
C. English-Only Rules

Some employers have instituted workplace policies restricting communication in languages other than English, often called "English-only rules." In fiscal year 2002, the Commission received 228 charges challenging English-only policies. The application of Title VII to such rules is discussed below.

1. Application of Title VII to English-Only Rules

Title VII permits employers to adopt English-only rules under certain circumstances. As with any other workplace policy, an English-only rule must be adopted for nondiscriminatory reasons. An English-only rule would be unlawful if it were adopted with the intent to discriminate on the basis of national origin. Likewise, a policy that prohibits some but not all of the foreign languages spoken in a workplace, such as a no-Navajo rule, would be unlawful.

EXAMPLE 19
ENGLISH-ONLY RULE: INTENTIONAL DISCRIMINATION

XYZ Textile Corp. adopts a policy requiring employees to speak only English while in the workplace, including when speaking to coworkers during breaks or when making personal telephone calls. XYZ places Hispanic workers under close scrutiny to ensure compliance and replaces workers who violate the rule with non-Hispanics. Jose, a native Spanish speaker, files a charge with the EEOC alleging that the policy discriminates against him based on his national origin. XYZ states that the rule was adopted to promote better employee relations and to help improve English skills. However, the investigation reveals no evidence of poor employee relations due to communication in languages other than English. Nor are proficient English skills required for any of the positions held by non-native English speakers. Because XYZ's explanation is contradicted by the evidence, the English-only rule is unlawful.(47)

Even where an English-only rule has been adopted for nondiscriminatory reasons, the employer's use of the rule should relate to specific circumstances in its workplace.(48) An English-only rule is justified by "business necessity" if it is needed for an employer to operate safely or efficiently. The following are some situations in which business necessity would justify an English-only rule:

For communications with customers, coworkers, or supervisors who only speak English
In emergencies or other situations in which workers must speak a common language to promote safety
For cooperative work assignments in which the English-only rule is needed to promote efficiency
To enable a supervisor who only speaks English to monitor the performance of an employee whose job duties require communication with coworkers or customers
The following is an example of a narrowly crafted English-only rule promoting safety in the workplace.

EXAMPLE 20
PERMISSIBLE ENGLISH-ONLY RULE: PROMOTING SAFETY

XYZ Petroleum Corp. operates an oil refinery and has a rule requiring all employees to speak only English during an emergency. The rule also requires that employees speak in English while performing job duties in laboratories and processing areas where there is the danger of fire or explosion. The rule does not apply to casual conversations between employees in the laboratory or processing areas when they are not performing a job duty. The English-only rule does not violate Title VII because it is narrowly tailored to safety requirements.(49)

2. Best Practices

In evaluating whether to adopt an English-only rule, an employer should weigh business justifications for the rule against possible discriminatory effects of the rule. While there is no precise test for making this evaluation, relevant considerations include:

Evidence of safety justifications for the rule
Evidence of other business justifications for the rule, such as supervision or effective communication with customers
Likely effectiveness of the rule in carrying out objectives
English proficiency of workers affected by the rule(50)
Before adopting an English-only rule, the employer should consider whether there are any alternatives to an English-only rule that would be equally effective in promoting safety or efficiency.

EXAMPLE 21
ENGLISH-ONLY RULE: NONDISCRIMINATORY ALTERNATIVE

At a management meeting of XYZ Electronics Co., a supervisor proposes that the company adopt an English-only rule to decrease tensions among its ethnically diverse workforce. He reports that two of the employees he supervises, Ann and Vinh, made derogatory comments in Vietnamese about their coworkers. Because such examples of misconduct are isolated and thus can be addressed effectively under the company's discipline policy, XYZ decides that the circumstances do not justify adoption of a facility-wide English-only rule. To reduce the likelihood of future incidents, XYZ supervisors are instructed to counsel line employees about appropriate workplace conduct.(51)

An employer should ensure that affected employees are notified about an English-only rule and the consequences for violation. The employer may provide notice by any reasonable means under the circumstances, such as a meeting, e-mail, or posting. In some cases, it may be necessary for an employer to provide notice in English and in the other native languages spoken by its workers. A grace period before the effective date of the rule also may be required to ensure that all workers have received notice.
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Old 07-02-2014, 05:53 PM   #13
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Quote:
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Why did they hire them in the first place if speaking English is a requirement for the job?
Yep.
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Old 07-02-2014, 05:56 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ILChief View Post
Why did they hire them in the first place if speaking English is a requirement for the job?
Maybe they were desperate for workers and thought they could make it work, then it turned out that the lack of English was hurting their business even more than the shortage of applicants.
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Old 07-02-2014, 05:58 PM   #15
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You can "discriminate" if the factor is a bona fide occupational qualification, can't you? I would think that the ability to communicate with other employees completely and accurately would be important to safety in an environment like a factory where you have people working with chemicals and operating machinery.

It's not illegal to hire someone and then decide that it wasn't working out.
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