[lg policy] Grocery store has no-Spanish language policy, faces federal lawsuit.

Harold Schiffman haroldfs at gmail.com
Mon May 7 10:22:17 EDT 2018

*SAN DIEGO (AP)* - A grocery store in San Diego subjected Hispanic
employees to harassment and a hostile work environment by implementing a
no-Spanish language policy, federal officials said Thursday.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a lawsuit alleging
store managers at Albertsons publicly reprimanded Hispanic employees who
were caught speaking Spanish.

The workers were barred from speaking Spanish around non-Spanish speakers,
even during breaks or when talking to Spanish-speaking customers, the
lawsuit said.

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No action was taken despite employee complaints, causing some workers to
transfer to other stores, according to the EEOC.

Albertsons wouldn't comment on the lawsuit but said in a statement that it
does not require its employees speak English only.

"Albertsons serves a diverse customer population and encourages employees
with foreign language abilities to use those skills to serve its
customers," the statement said.

The conduct violates the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the EEOC said.

"It is extremely important for workers to feel safe in coming forward to
report harassment," said Christopher Green, director of the EEOC's San
Diego office. "It is equally important for employers to make certain that
harassment is investigated and addressed appropriately."

The Albertsons chain is one of the largest food and drug retailers in the
U.S., employing about 280,000 people in 35 states.


 Harold F. Schiffman

Professor Emeritus of
 Dravidian Linguistics and Culture
Dept. of South Asia Studies
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305

Phone:  (215) 898-7475
Fax:  (215) 573-2138

Email:  haroldfs at gmail.com

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