Hispanics sue hospital over English policy

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at ccat.sas.upenn.edu
Fri Jul 15 13:25:51 UTC 2005

>>From the Buffalo (NY), News   Friday, July 15, 2005

Hispanics sue hospital over English policy


 ROCHESTER (AP) - A federal lawsuit filed against a Western New York
health care provider claims Hispanic hospital employees were penalized for
not speaking English while on the job.  The suit against Highland Hospital
of Rochester and Strong Health was filed on behalf of a group of Hispanic
employees, who claim an English-only policy was implemented for its
housekeeping staff. The policy was applied in a discriminatory fashion,
according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

"Employers need to heighten their awareness to language issues in the
workplace," the EEOC's Spencer H. Lewis said in a prepared statement.
Hospital officials said non-Spanish-speaking employees complained their
Hispanic colleagues were switching to Spanish for private conversations
when other co-workers would enter the room.

The hospital said the employees of the housekeeping unit were asked to use
a common language at work out of respect for each other.

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