[lg policy] Connecticut: English-Only Policy Gets Bookstore in Hot Water

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at GMAIL.COM
Mon Jan 25 14:25:13 UTC 2010

English-Only Policy Gets Bookstore in Hot Water
By Martin Laine.

An English-only policy at the Atticus Bookstore and Cafe, a landmark
establishment on the outskirts of the Yale University campus, has
brought harsh criticism for the management and at least one worker has
been fired as a result of the policy. “Here we speak English:
effective immediately the official and only language spoken on the
floor and behind the counter is English. Spanish is allowed in the
prep area, the dishwasher area and the lower level. Let’s make our
customers feel welcome and comfortable,” read the notice posted in the
store and signed by the manager, Jean Recapet, according to a story in
the Hartford Courant. "English is the primary language of this
business," said Recapet in an interview Friday.

A protest is planned in front of the store at noon today. Owner
Charles Negaro told the Courant that the policy has been
misrepresented in the media, and that he and his management team are
reviewing the policy. “If these news reports have offended anyone, I
am sorry,” Negaro said. “Atticus managers and staff are reviewing our
policy of appropriate language usage to determine how we can avoid
misrepresentations of this kind in the future.”  The policy came as a
surprise to many in New Haven, which has received attention in recent
years for welcoming all immigrants – even those in the country
illegally. And the Atticus Bookstore in particular has distinguished
itself, supporting many immigrant organizations and programs, and
offering English-language courses for its employees.

“A lot of people are shocked that Atticus is doing this,” said Deborah
Malatesta, a spokeswoman for the New Haven Workers Association. The
policy became public after two angry workers contacted the


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