NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

ENGLISH LANGUAGE AS A JOB REQUIREMENT

March 28, 1996

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) considers it discriminatory to require that English be spoken on the job. Even though two federal appeals courts have already rejected the agency's position, it pushes on and companies regularly give in because -- as they see it -- it just doesn't pay to fight.

  • In 1994, the EEOC reported it had 120 active charges pending against 67 employers based on English language rules -- with even more cases added last year.
  • With the threat of costly litigation hanging over companies, the EEOC has obtained settlements in such cases from employers ranging from Sears to the Salvation Army.
  • Many employees bringing complaints are already bilingual, but out of pride or convenience they prefer not to speak English on the job.

EEOC critics say its obsession with English language suits is not the only area where the agency refuses to acknowledge reality. They cite a recent sex discrimination lawsuit brought by the agency against a clothing store that refused to hire men to assist women customers in the dressing room.

Source: David Andrew Price (Washington Legal Foundation), "English-Only Rules: EEOC Has Gone Too Far," USA Today, March 28, 1996. Check Out : Sears Christmas Wish Book

 

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