Companies Requiring English-speaking Employees Targeted by EEOC

Shocking but true. Our own U.S. government is suing an American company for making English a requirement for employment.

So let me get this straight… if a U.S. company requires it’s employees to understand and speak English fluently as a job skill they risk being sued by their own government for discrimination? Forget the fact that communication is critical for safety reasons. Can you imagine the lawsuit when the manager yells out a warning (in English, because he doesn’t speak Cantonese!) but the person on the warehouse floor doesn’t understand it and gets his arm ripped off by a piece of equipment he shouldn’t have touched (who’s instructions and warnings are also written in English)?

If the company cannot require it’s employees to speak English as a required skillset, are they going to have to require their supervisors and managers fluently speak any number of languages that employees may speak in order to properly function in their capacities? And isn’t that also discrimination… against English-only speaking persons? The same infraction they are citing can also be used against the EEOC’s own ruling.

Does anyone else see the ridiculousness in this logic? Requiring an employee to be able to communicate with various levels of other employees is not discrimination. It’s common sense. The EEOC needs to butt out of private company practices unless there is really discrimination going on. Saying that language is not a skillset just shows how out-of-touch our government entities are with reality.

You can read more about it here and here.

Photo credit Irina Slutsky