03-09-2006, 04:58 PM
When I was hired a couple of years ago, my employer was not aware I was Puerto Rican, :confused: only that I spoke spanish since I put it down on my application.I was assigned to work with another spanish speaking coworker and we work very well together and speak spanish all the time in front of everyone at work. We do not mean to be rude. It's just our heritage. We mainly talk about work and small stuff. Now, a few coworkers have complained and say we are talking about them. We are not. My boss says its company policy to only speak english because its bad public relations and will make residents at the Nursing Home we work at feel bad. No resident has ever complained to me and if they did I would respect them and speak only english in front of those people. My question is...Does an employer have the right to tell me I can only speak English at work...no matter what kind of job it is? :confused:
03-10-2006, 06:12 AM
Yes, they have such a right to require English-only while you are performing your services.
Your boss cannot stop you from speaking Spanish on your break, if you get one; during your lunch, if you get one; or any time that you are "on your own time". But while you are on the job, yes, you can be required to speak English-only.
03-10-2006, 03:24 PM
Guess what? I did some checking and I am very much permitted to speak spanish or any other language at work. Its call "Language Discrimination". I found out that unless it was stated in my employee handbook or in the Union rules...I can speak any language I want to. My employer can not discriminate. If they are listed as an Equal Opportunity Employer then I can speak spanish :) No where does it state that I am only to speak english. It must be written down according to Union and Federal laws. There was a case where employees in CA filed a lawsuit against the English Only Rule and won. I will continue to speak spanish at work but I will be more courteous towards my small minded coworkers who see it as a threat. I have offered to teach spanish to anyone who wishes to learn and I get the same response...teach us the bad words. I wont do that!
A California case doesn't hold a lot of weight in PA.
I still think you are confusing being not allowed to speak Spanish WHILE YOU ARE WORKING with not being allowed to speak Spanish during breaks, lunch, etc.