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Job was threatened for not speaking Spanish Arizona

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  • Job was threatened for not speaking Spanish Arizona

    I had explained to management I would not take Spanish calls. I speak and understand Spanish, but as a Internet Technical Support rep. Speaking Technical Spanish for me is very different. The company has assumed because I am Hispanic/bilingual I am to take the calls without offering me any sort of compensation. On 9/20/07 I was ordered by a manager that I take the call or I could lose my job, this was delivered to me on the call floor as my peers listened. I took the call but I stated I would not be taking these calls after today. I was told that when I was hired the blurb at the bottom of the page "and any other duties assigned" makes it my job. Taking Spanish calls is not included I stated. Must I comply? Seeking advice for my situation, please.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Hozer View Post
    I had explained to management I would not take Spanish calls. I speak and understand Spanish, but as a Internet Technical Support rep. Speaking Technical Spanish for me is very different. The company has assumed because I am Hispanic/bilingual I am to take the calls without offering me any sort of compensation. On 9/20/07 I was ordered by a manager that I take the call or I could lose my job, this was delivered to me on the call floor as my peers listened. I took the call but I stated I would not be taking these calls after today. I was told that when I was hired the blurb at the bottom of the page "and any other duties assigned" makes it my job. Taking Spanish calls is not included I stated. Must I comply? Seeking advice for my situation, please.
    Yes, or you could lose your job. You do not dictate to your employers what duties you will and will not accept. You'd have been fired long ago...
    Please no private messages about your situation.

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    • #3
      Why would you need extra compensation for taking calls in Spanish, especially as you DO speak Spanish?
      HOOK 'EM HORNS!!!
      How do you catch a very rare rabbit?
      (unique up on him)
      How do catch an ordinary rabbit?
      (same way)

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      • #4
        I'm going to guess that the people in India who take my customer services calls don't get paid extra for taking the English language calls.

        It is up to the employer what compensation they will pay, when advertising a job. It is up to the prospective employee whether or not to apply for that job.
        Please no private messages about your situation.

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        • #5
          Hozer, unless you plan to continue to donate your extra talent, being bilingual, you would likely be ahead to seek out other employment. When/if you move to a different job let the employer know that you consider your ability to speak an additional language as an added skill and expect to be paid for your skill. Get some sort of written employment contract that specifies what your job duties are and IF they expect to benefit from your additional skills that you expect payment for such. If all the other employees in your department can't take the Spanish speaking calls due to not knowing the language then you are offering a special skill and deserve to be compensated for it. It isn't very likely that you will ever be paid extra for that skill where you are. They could legally terminate you for refusing to follow instructions.
          Information posted by me is my "OPINION". I do NOT give legal advice to anyone as like most here I am NOT an attorney.

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          • #6
            When I was on active duty with the Army, they trained me to speak French well enough to qualify as "fluent" on the test. That did not mean that I could translate technical information (some of which I didn't understand in English-- btdt!).

            It would be unfair but not illegal for the employer to pay you the same rate as non-Spanish speaking employees.

            It would be unfair and not illegal for them to fire you for refusing to take calls in Spanish.

            You need to have a serious chat with the powers that be about what you can and cannot do in Spanish. That way, they will understand your abilities and your limitations.

            There are all kinds of directions this could go. Understanding that you lack the technical jargon, they could provide you with the training or manuals that would make you a valuable team member, hopefully with some extra compensation for the extra work that would involve.
            Senior Professional in Human Resources and Certified Staffing Professional with over 30 years experience. Any advice provided is based upon experience and education, but does not constitute legal advice.

            Comment


            • #7
              Also, the OP seems to be giving a mixed message. On the one hand, stating that the OP is not capable in technical Spanish and on the other hand wants more money to do so. These seem to be mutually exclusive reasons that would tend to make management question what the OP is saying. IMO, pick one before talking to management.

              Also, language skills is hardly the only area where employers put someone in a job that they were not capable of doing. My last couple employers hired me to clean up messes the previous person made. In both cases, the previously person probably knew that they were not the right person for the job, but the money probably looked good (while it lasted).

              If the OP is really not capable of handling technical Spanish, asking for more money to in exchange for handling a job he/she cannot do is maybe a long-term foolish decision.
              "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
              Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

              Comment

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