The paper tries to establish the legality of a policy requiring workers to use only English during business hours. Mary, a manager, was charged with the role of ensuring all the employees were not discriminated either on basis of gender or country of origin.
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One of the customer service representatives felt sexually harassed by Hispanic sales people who communicated in a vulgar way using Spanish in the Cafeteria. Non-Spanish speaking employees felt that Hispanic team members in field were speaking in Spanish during working hours, which endangered their lives. Use of Spanish was taken by other workers as a discriminatory and a way of not sharing crucial information with the rest.
Mary sent memos to all the departmental heads prohibiting the use of any other language apart from English during business hours. The memo raised concerns among different group of workers leading to Mary receiving complains on legality of the matters. Hispanic workers argued that the rule discriminated them on basis of country of origin.
It was noted use of Spanish language, earlier within the organization, had led to firing of two workers by Levy in his department. The workers defied orders from Levy on use of English during working periods. Spanish employees argued that they did not use Spanish while around other technicians or the shop. Frank Loggins, the company head, having heard of the looming law suits asked Matt to act quickly to try and save the image of the organization.
Matt’s answer to the enquiry was that he thought Mary had solved all the problems concerning the language. The company legal team had to try and research on the legality of Mary’s memo from decided cases. One finding was that the bilingual employees who wanted to sue the company were charged with the responsibility of proving that the company had been discriminating them on basis of language to the courts.
The main problem that the complainants faced was that no case law or decided cases had equated language to the country of origin. Mary’s decision was shown to hold even when the workers went to court because it was supposed to prevent discrimination among the employees. Discrimination occurred when Spanish workers used Spanish in presence of non-Spanish speaking workers.
The legality challenge that existed was on the mode of communicating the policy and the time when the policy was communicated to the different workers. Mary sent the memo to departmental heads but not to the affected workers within the company. She was supposed to get all the workers and explain to them what was happening and the changes occurred in language policy within the company.
Sending the memo when complains about language arose within the company was another legal challenge. The one language policy can be challenged through the Equal Opportunity Commission of the US. The commission holds that a one language policy within organizations is illegal if use of other languages is not affecting the safety of workers at the workplace. In this situation, the workers claimed they did not use English, while on business proceedings.
The use of Spanish did not bring any jeopardy to the safety of other workers. To avoid the legal proceeding, Matt is supposed to meet all the departmental heads and explain to them the process of implementing a language policy in future. The business needed to carry out diversity training to all workers on need of using English at workplace and appreciating other workers’ culture.