May 7, 2007, - 2:17 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
USA Today has an interesting article about all of the lawsuits employers face for requiring English-only (though the article is written by fabricator Stephanie Armour, so keep that in mind).
According to the piece, employers can only legally adopt an English-only speaking rule if they can show it’s a business necessity. HUH?! What about how it’s a necessity because we’re here in America and that’s the language we’re supposed to speak?
Whines Ronna Timpa, owner of Workplace ESL Solutions (who would go out of business if all job candidates knew they needed to speak English to get a job):
Imagine how you would feel if you couldn’t speak your own language in the bathroom.
I’d feel just fine. I speak fluent Hebrew, but I find no necessity–at any time, unless I’m in Israel–to speak it in the bathroom. Is there something I’m not aware of about toilets, #1, and #2 that requires a foreign language?
Timpa is also upset with employers who prevent co-workers from speaking in their “native” language during lunch. Uh, if they’re here other than as tourists, they’re supposed to be natives of THIS country. And therefore, their “native” language should be English.
It’s just plain bad for morale for the workplace to become the Tower of Babel. It’s amazing to me that the burden is on any employer in the United States of America to prove that it’s a business necessity to require English only.
Then, there is the problem of the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC), which is funded by your taxes. It’s spending your tax money–that was meant to prevent workplace discrimination against, say, Blacks or Jews–to prosecute employers who ban foreign languages.
Also alarming are the figures from the 2000 Census (which have probably increased exponentially) of the percentages of people in some states who don’t speak English. Here are the states with the highest percentage of residents ages 5 and older that speak English less than “very well”:
So one in five Californians can’t speak English, and more than one in ten in at least four other states. That’s incredible. Incredibly unacceptable. Read more.
Tags: America, Arizona, California, Debbie Schlussel, Equal Employment Opportunities Commission, Israel, Lawyers for the Right, Nevada, New York, owner, Ronna Timpa, Stephanie Armour, Texas, Tower of Babel, United States of America, Workplace ESL Solutions