US gov't has filed suit against WI for firing employees that didntt speak English

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by ugahairydawgs, Jul 3, 2014.

  1. ugahairydawgs macrumors 68020

    ugahairydawgs

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    #1
    The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (no idea that even existed before today) has filed suit against a Wisconsin company saying it violated the Civil Rights Act by firing employees for not be able to speak English while on the job. The EEOC says that English isn't required for the job that was being performed. The company says the suit is without merit.

    What do you think? Should an American company be allowed to require at least some form of fluency in English if they so choose without threat of suit?
     
  2. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #2
    From your link ...

    So you could turn your question around and ask, "do you think it's okay to fire a group of people because of their lack of English even though it's not a necessary skill and they were otherwise performing their job satisfactorily?"
     
  3. edk99 macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    I have no problem for a company to *NOT* hire someone if they cannot speak and communicate effectively in english. The problem I guess I have with this potentially is that they were hired in the first place. Was this stated in the job description and if so why wasn't it figured out in the interview that these people could not effectively communicate in english?

    So yes a company can require you to speak fluent english. I see this all the time in job descriptions that it is required for you to be able to effectively communicate with team members. which means you should be able to speak english.
     
  4. Huntn, Jul 3, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2014

    Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #4
    It's not clear to me, could they speak no English or some? Honestly if they could speak no English, how did they get hired in the first place? My personal feeling is that some English, the question how much, is required for the job? Who hired them? Are they here legally?

    I'll also ask, is "not speaking" English a federally covered category of discrimination? If it is not, such as gender, race, or religion, and Wisconsin is an at-will state, they can be fired at any time for no reason and that would not be grounds for a lawsuit.
     
  5. iBlazed macrumors 68000

    iBlazed

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    #5
    Different jobs require different languages. I see job listings all the time that say "Spanish required". So there's nothing wrong with requiring English. In this case however, they were already hired knowing they don't speak english. It's not exactly easy to hide your language difficulties at an interview. Now, all of a sudden they decide they want to fire them after a 10 minute language survey? Not kosher.
     
  6. samiwas macrumors 65816

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    #6
    Yes, they should.

    But that's not what this case is about. I'm sure you know that.

    How did these people get hired in the first place if English was required?
     
  7. jnpy!$4g3cwk macrumors 65816

    jnpy!$4g3cwk

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    #7
    I'm surprised that you did not know about it. It is an important Federal agency:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EEOC

    What I think, or, what the law states?

    If speaking English at a certain level is a bona fide job requirement, they should have stated so up front. Perhaps they made a mistake in hiring people who can't do the job they were hired for? But, the company didn't seem to state that. It seemed to be saying that they arbitrarily added a requirement for no apparent job-related reason. It does sound like the manager violated the law.

    What I think is that people should not be discriminated against for any arbitrary reason that is not a bona-fide job requirement. Like age, waistline, level of attractiveness, or disability, unless it is an actual job requirement. I don't expect topless bars to hire 60-year-old grandmothers in wheelchairs to serve. But, I do expect them to hire overweight 60-year-old grandmothers in wheelchairs to be, for example, bookkeepers.
     
  8. jkcerda Suspended

    jkcerda

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    #8
    got to agree here, WHY did they hire the employees in the first place?
    seems like the lack of English skills was nothing more than an excuse to fire them.
     
  9. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #9
    If it's an at-will state, they don't need an excuse. Btw, this is not my defense of at-will, just stating how the law is as I understand it. I don't like at-will.

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/At-will_employment
     
  10. localoid macrumors 68020

    localoid

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    #10
    From reading this thread, I get the impression that some think the company hired these guys on Monday, then fired them on Tuesday because they couldn't speak good English. That doesn't seem to be what happened.

    These workers apparently had worked at the company long enough to complete "annual performance evaluations", according to the articles in the OP.

    From reading both links in the OP, the company laid off a total of 12 employees. I get the impression that the layoffs were part of a overall reduction in the plant's workforce, although neither article states this specifically.

    Regarding the layoffs, the company says:

    While the EEOC says:

     
  11. Mousse macrumors 68000

    Mousse

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    #11
    I say "Hail No!" These guys are probably assembly line workers. A person working that sort of job can perform his duty all day long without uttering a word. My guess is the supervisor cannot understand Spanish or Miao. I would replace the supervisors with some those who do speak Miao and/or Spanish. According to the article, English was NOT a requirement for the job.

    They met the requirements for the job. Not only that, they are competent in the performance of their duty. The company has ZERO cause for firing them. I'm with the Gub'ment on this one.
     
  12. G51989 macrumors 68030

    G51989

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    #12
    Why do you dislike at will? My state has it ,and in the event an employee isn't really up to par anymore not pulling his weight, dragging down a team, being a general ******* or whatever, I can let them go with no legal recourse on their part.

    It came in handy a few months ago, I had a young tech who kept bringing in religious propaganda, I warned him like 3 times to stop doing it. He wouldn't, out on his ass the 4th warning.

    http://www.nysegov.com/citguide.cfm?ques_id=505&superCat=36&cat=344&content=relatedFAQs

    Can my employer fire me for no 'valid' reason?

    Answer Yes. New York State is an employment-at-will state. The employment-at-will doctrine is a judicially created common-law rule that states where employment is for an indefinite term, it is presumed to be at-will. As the name suggests, the employer can fire an employee for any reason, or no reason, without legal recourse, just as the employee is equally free to end an employment relationship at any time. The employment-at-will doctrine is firmly established in New York State, and absent an express agreement, New York courts will uphold the law.

    The doctrine, however, has evolved over the years providing workers with additional job security and protection. Employees are protected if they have a contract that outlines specific allowable reasons for termination or if he/she is fired for discriminatory reasons. The New York State Division of Human Rights protects an employee from discrimination.
     
  13. Shrink macrumors G3

    Shrink

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    #13
    I'm probably missing something here...but did no one notice that the individual didn't speck English during the hiring process.

    And if not, why not?

    And if yes...perhaps it was irrelevant to the job for which the individual was hired (as has been pointed out above).
     
  14. Renzatic Suspended

    Renzatic

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    #14
    "It's a fairly simple job, Bob. All you have to do is move these crates of toxic waste from the reactor to the dumping grounds by hand. Pretty simple stuff If you have any questions, you ask me or Bill, okay"?

    "Que"?

    "Cool. Glad to have you aboard, Bob".
     
  15. Shrink macrumors G3

    Shrink

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    #15
    LMAO!

    Pretty much as I had imagined it!:D
     
  16. localoid macrumors 68020

    localoid

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    #16
    No where in the articles linked in the OP does it is specifically stated that these employees "didn't speak English", only that the company "marked them down for their English skills".
     
  17. turtle777 macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    So, just to get this straight: in the future, I can avoid being fired or laid off if I forget how I speak English ?

    Alrighty then...

    -t
     
  18. Shrink macrumors G3

    Shrink

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    #18
    Well, if you think about it, to "forget" how to speak your native language would require a pretty extensive left hemisphere stroke or traumatic head injury...which might well render you unfit to work...;)
     
  19. LIVEFRMNYC macrumors 603

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    #19
    As long as you don't work for Hobby Lobby. It's against their religion to speak another language.
     
  20. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #20
    Or the later conversation ...

    "We've hit some tough times and I'm gonna have to let some people go. Anybody who can recite the Pledge of Allegiance ... in English ... gets to keep their job."

    "Que"?
     
  21. Renzatic Suspended

    Renzatic

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    #21
    Buzzkill, Zen. Buzzkill.
     
  22. localoid macrumors 68020

    localoid

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    #22
    There's no shortage of native born Americans who would be "marked down" if they were given a test that measured their English skills.
     
  23. samiwas macrumors 65816

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    #23
    I see what you're trying to get at, but it's a pretty lame attempt.
     
  24. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #24
    Just another post and run, huh?

    Sad that you're only here to add fuel to the partisan fire....
     
  25. iBlazed macrumors 68000

    iBlazed

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    #25
    What a mind ******* of a post...
     

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