[lg policy] Los Angeles: Airline contractor workers say they were required to speak English or nothing at all

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at gmail.com
Fri May 8 15:03:41 UTC 2015


 Airline contractor workers say they were required to speak English or
nothing at all
 [image: Gate Gourmet]

Workers for Gate Gourmet, which provides janitorial service for Delta
Airlines at LAX, have sued. They claim they were barred from speaking
Spanish in the workplace.
(Carlos Chavez / Los Angeles Times)
  By Brittny Mejia
<http://www.latimes.com/la-bio-brittny-mejia-staff.html> contact
the reporter
<brittny.mejia at latimes.com?subject=Regarding%20Airline%20contractor%20workers%20say%20they%20were%20required%20to%20speak%20English%20or%20nothing%20at%20all>

   -  Los Angeles International Airport
   <http://www.latimes.com/topic/transportation/air-transportation/los-angeles-international-airport-PLTRA0000070-topic.html>

 Lawsuit claims employees for airline contractor were barred from speaking
Spanish in the workplace
 Airline contractor denies it required employees to not speak Spanish, as
claimed in lawsuit

A year ago, workers for a Delta Airlines contractor at LAX said they were
given a strict order: Speak English or don't speak at all.
lRelated
<http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-lawsuit-filed-english-language-policy-20150507-story.html#>[image:
Stolen funds went to trips, cars and a French bakery, court opinion says]
<http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-bakery-embezzlement-20150428-story.html>
CALIFORNIA
<http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-bakery-embezzlement-20150428-story.html>Stolen
funds went to trips, cars and a French bakery, court opinion says
<http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-bakery-embezzlement-20150428-story.html>See
all related
<http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-lawsuit-filed-english-language-policy-20150507-story.html#>
8
<http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-lawsuit-filed-english-language-policy-20150507-story.html#>

The employees for Gate Gourmet, which provides janitorial services to Delta
Airlines at LAX, are plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed Thursday by the Mexican
American Legal Defense and Educational Fund claiming harassment by
management if workers did not abide by the "English only" language policy.
 [image: Lawsuit against Gate Gourmet]
<http://documents.latimes.com/lawsuit-against-gate-gourmet/>
Lawsuit against Gate Gourmet
<http://documents.latimes.com/lawsuit-against-gate-gourmet/>

One worker, Maria Martinez, received a written warning two months ago about
her continued use of Spanish, said Martha Gomez, staff attorney with
MALDEF. She said there isn't a need for workers to speak English, as they
don't interact with customers.

Last May, according to the lawsuit, management implemented the language
restriction, which prevented workers from speaking Spanish during the swing
shift -- from 2 to 11 p.m. While Gate Gourmet hasn't clearly communicated
consequences of breaking the policy, workers are "constantly under threat
and scrutiny," Gomez said.
 cComments
<http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-lawsuit-filed-english-language-policy-20150507-story.html#>

   - when I work in IT, many times I've had to ask the H1B scabs to speak
   English instead of Hindi...is there something wrong with that ?
   H1BSucks
   at 7:26 AM May 08, 2015

 Add a comment
<http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-lawsuit-filed-english-language-policy-20150507-story.html#>
See
all comments
<http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-lawsuit-filed-english-language-policy-20150507-story.html#>
 116
<http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-lawsuit-filed-english-language-policy-20150507-story.html#>

Gate Gourmet did not impose any language restrictions on its morning or
night shift employees, according to the lawsuit.

When an airplane comes in, workers  restock pillows, take out the trash,
clean the kitchen and make sure everything is clean before moving on to
another airplane.

Most of the 14 workers in the lawsuit have been cleaning airplanes for
about 10 years,  and using Spanish with no problem, Gomez added.

While declining to comment on the lawsuit, Gate Gourmet in a statement
denied that it required its employees to speak only English.
 [image: Beverly Hills bakery accused of labor abuse by workers on visas]
<http://www.latimes.com/local/westside/la-me-guest-workers-lawsuit-20150320-story.html>
Beverly Hills bakery accused of labor abuse by workers on visas
<http://www.latimes.com/local/westside/la-me-guest-workers-lawsuit-20150320-story.html>

"Gate Gourmet does not have an English-only rule.  We onboard, train, and
communicate with our diverse workforce in multiple languages, and certainly
in both English and Spanish in Los Angeles," the company's statement read.
"We ensure that our people receive the information they need, including all
policies and procedures, in either English or Spanish.  Gate Gourmet takes
pride in our diverse workplace and in our ability to integrate non-English
speakers into our workforce."

According to the lawsuit, bilingual employees are prohibited from speaking
in Spanish to employees who speak only Spanish. The suit's plaintiffs all
speak Spanish as their native language and most either don't speak English
or have limited proficiency in English, according to the complaint.

The suit seeks damages on claims of unlawful workplace language policy,
national origin discrimination, harassment, failure to prevent
discrimination and unfair and unlawful business practices.

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-lawsuit-filed-english-language-policy-20150507-story.html


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