ProEnglish Testifies to U.S. Civil Rights Commission About English-on-the-Job Rules

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at
Sat Dec 13 16:42:53 UTC 2008

ProEnglish Testifies to U.S. Civil Rights Commission About
English-on-the-Job Rules

Last update: 9:30 a.m. EST Dec. 12, 2008
ARLINGTON, Va., Dec 12, 2008 /PRNewswire-USNewswire via COMTEX/ -- "We
welcome the opportunity to testify today to the U.S. Civil Rights
Commission about employer English-on-the-job rules and the Equal
Employment Opportunity Commission's (EEOC) policy of targeting such
rules for prosecution under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act,"
says K.C. McAlpin, executive director of ProEnglish, a group that
advocates making English the official language of the United States.
"In a nutshell we believe the EEOC is acting illegally and abusing its
statutory authority by prosecuting employers with English-on-the-job
rules," McAlpin charges. "In filing these lawsuits the EEOC is not
only violating the rights of employers to run their businesses, it
also is violating the rights of employees to work in a safe,
non-threatening work environment," he adds.

"The EEOC bases its policy on its assertion that there is a 'close
connection' between language and national origin. But in today's world
a person's primary language is rarely an essential national origin
characteristic," McAlpin says. "The view that the EEOC's definition is
wrong is not ours alone," McAlpin adds in his testimony, "it is also
the overwhelming view of the courts. ... In thirty-five years of court
cases there has not been a single ruling supporting the EEOC's
interpretation that was ultimately upheld, or which is controlling:
not one that supports the EEOC's language equals national origin
formula." He cites that as the reason the EEOC recently settled its
lawsuit against the Salvation Army that left the Army's
English-on-the-job policy intact. McAlpin's testimony underscores that
courts have long recognized an employer's right to set conditions of
employment, including what employees can say on the job -- a right
protected by Title VII itself.

A complete copy of McAlpin's written statement to the US Civil Rights
Commission with Exhibits is available on the ProEnglish website:

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