Considerations Before Mandating English In The Workplace

Law360, New York (December 18, 2013, 8:31 PM EST) -- As the linguistic diversity of the workplace increases, many employers have or are considering mandating that employees speak English at work. While employers may consider language-at-work rules to be fully in their discretion, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission disagrees, asserting that language rules can constitute national origin discrimination.

Currently, EEOC guidance provides that employers may require employees to speak English if it is a “business necessity” to complete the job effectively and safely. Interest groups, however, argue that the EEOC guidance is unclear, particularly because it...
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