English As The Primary And Official Language Of The United States
According to Richard Tuschman (2012), the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) specifies that the only time an employer may establish a rule on employees to speak only English is if the policy is a business necessity. Examples of a business necessity include communicating with supervisors or customers who speak only English or when collaborative work requires speaking only English to improve productivity. Emergencies and other safety operations may also make a common language a business necessity.
An additional law that the EEOC investigates are potential violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination based on national origin. Examples of this type of discrimination include discrimination based on a person’s appearance or customs; discrimination based on being connected with a particular nationality; and physical or verbal harassment based on nationality, such as ethnic slurs (McKay, 2019). English-only policies that do not have a reasonable business basis are included in this category. These are considered illegal under Title VII, and violations may be filed with the EEOC within 180 days of the incident.
Language is simply a facilitator and a medium to communicate. Should the staff be comfortable in speaking Spanish among themselves, then certainly, if it is a quiet form of conversation and not really bothering the customers, then it can be continued. In fact, two major advantages could also be considered. First, it can boost the morale of the staff due to being in a comfortable position to reach out to others more effectively and second, the motivated staff would be able to serve the customers better due to higher level of confidence or job satisfaction in the system. Communication needs to act as facilitator as mentioned earlier and not as a barrier which may only lead to more confusion and chaos. Therefore, a respect to all languages is a must and as far as Spanish does not hinder the daily course of the services offered to the customers, Spanish may be allowed completely.
Rules that are effective are like the ones already stated. It is important not to ban the use of other languages. Limit the ban to only those times when you have a specific business reason for it. Another rule that should apply to all languages and ethnic groups is to avoid claims that one nationality is continually being singled out. Finally, most state laws mandate that employers inform workers when the language restriction is in effect and then advise them of the consequences for violating it.
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