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English Only In The Workplace? Bad Idea

It’s also – in most cases – very wrong.

The EEOC provides some examples where English-only would be justified by business necessity:

  1. For communications with customers, co-workers, or supervisors who only speak English.

  2. In emergencies or other situations in which workers must speak a common language to promote safety.

  3. For cooperative work assignments in which the English-only rule is needed to promote efficiency.

  4. To enable a supervisor who only speaks English to monitor the performance of an employee whose job duties require communication with co-workers or customers.

If you wish to mandate an English-only workplace, we strongly suggest you review the policy with an employment attorney prior to implementation.

It’s not worth it!


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Dave Berkus is an accomplished speaker, author and angel investor.  He provides common sense advice to all businesses through his blog, Berkonomics. His recent post deals with the frustrations of busi

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