Legal Question in Employment Law in Utah

english only speaking rule

does this policy meet the legal requirements?

Title VII of the Civil Right Act of 1964 permits employers to adapt an English only speaking rule under certain circumstances due to business necessity. To effectively communicate with our customers we are implementing an English only speaking policy on the sales floor. This policy is necessary to better assist our customers, communicate with coworker, and management. Employees are free to speak the language of their choice on break or in any other area not related to the sales floor. Failure to follow this police will result in disciplinary action.

Asked on 10/08/07, 12:06 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Re: english only speaking rule

As stated on EEOC's website, the answer depends. According to the EEOC:

"Title VII permits employers to adopt English-only rules under certain circumstances. As with any other workplace policy, an English-only rule must be adopted for nondiscriminatory reasons. An English-only rule would be unlawful if it were adopted with the intent to discriminate on the basis of national origin. Likewise, a policy that prohibits some but not all of the foreign languages spoken in a workplace, such as a no-Navajo rule, would be unlawful."

Click on; national origin; & the link to English Only Rules. It is a debated issue that some EEOC offices are taking a particular look at.

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Answered on 10/11/07, 8:38 pm
Alvin Lundgren Alvin R. Lundgren, L.C.

Re: english only speaking rule

Depending on the nature of the business, the policy appears to be reasonable.

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Answered on 10/08/07, 12:39 pm

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