[lg policy] Whole Foods Slammed For =?windows-1252?Q?=91English-Only'_?=Policy As Petition Gathers Signatures

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at GMAIL.COM
Thu Jun 13 13:57:05 UTC 2013

 Whole Foods Slammed For ‘English-Only' Policy As Petition Gathers

*The Huffington Post*  |  Posted: 06/12/2013 11:23 am EDT
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 Upscale grocery store Whole Foods continues to face fallout over
allegations that it punished two Hispanic employees in New Mexico for
objecting to a policy restricting the use of Spanish at work.

CNN columnist Ruben Navarrete slammed the store in a column
faulting the company for lack of clarity about its policy requiring that
employees speak English in the workplace.

“At the very least, what we have at the trendy organic supermarket chain is
a failure to communicate -- in any language,” Navarrette wrote. “New
Mexicans do not play games when it comes to preserving language and
culture. They take their right to speak Spanish seriously. New Mexico's
state constitution does not declare an official language, and it protects
Spanish and American Indian languages. So you can't have English-only
policies there.”

The columnist went on to poke fun at the company's statement that "Team
Members are free to speak any language they would like during their breaks,
meal periods and before and after work."

"Wow," Navarrette wrote. "Whole Foods gives you permission to speak Spanish
with family members at home before leaving for work. That's big of them."

Navarrette isn’t the only one irritated with the grocery store chain. More
than 5,600 people have signed on to a petition at
the company to rescind it’s current language policy.

Whole Foods denied that the company restricts the use of
a press release last week, but maintained that employees should speak
English primarily while on the job.

“At Whole Foods Market, we do not have ‘no foreign languages spoken’
policies in any of our stores," the press statement says. "Our policy is
that the default language is English, for consistent communication,
inclusion, and especially for safety and emergency situations. We want our
team members to use their judgment about when it’s appropriate to speak
other languages."

Whole Foods went on to say it was investigating the incident.

The Associated Press reported last week that Whole Foods had suspended two
employees in Albuquerque<http://nbclatino.com/2013/06/06/whole-foods-workers-say-they-were-suspended-for-speaking-spanish/>for
opposing instructions not to speak Spanish to each other while


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