US: Civil Rights Commission Briefing Today on English-Language Workplace Rules

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at
Sat Dec 13 16:49:54 UTC 2008

Civil Rights Commission Briefing Today on English-Language Workplace Rules

 [Roger Clegg]

The U.S. Civil Rights Commission heard testimony today from several
organizations regarding the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission's lawsuits against various employers that have
English-language workplace rules. In one notorious case, for example,
the EEOC sued the Salvation Army when one of its thrift stores
required employees there to speak English when on the job. Here's a
link to a column by John Fund on this case and the controversy in
Congress it provoked when a bill was introduced there to counteract
the EEOC policy.

Today's briefing will be shown on C-SPAN 2 at 10:25 tonight and 5:05
am tomorrow. The Center for Equal Opportunity's Linda Chavez weighed
in against the EEOC's policy; her testimony is on our website. An EEOC
official spoke today, but none of its supporters were willing to show
up, despite USCCR invitations to MALDEF, La Raza, the ACLU, etc. Too
bad: As Chavez explains, "It does immigrants no favor to remove
incentives for their mastering English. Forcing employers to run their
workplaces on a multilingual basis is not only dubious as a matter of
law, and costly in its economic effect – it is disastrous as a matter
of national policy."

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