English Only Policy Could Violate Title VII

     The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission settled a lawsuit against Albertsons after it alleged that the company had implemented a blanket rule that discriminated against employees because of their national origin.  The EEOC’s lawsuit claimed that the company had allowed one of its managers to discriminate against and harass its Hispanic employees because they spoke Spanish.  The Complaint alleged that the company prohibited its Hispanic employees from speaking Spanish, including to Spanish speaking customers and during breaks.  The employees were reprimanded when they did speak Spanish.  The EEOC considers a blanket, “English-only” rule whereby employees may not speak any language other than English (including during breaks), to be a form of national origin discrimination in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  See EEOC v. Albertsons Companies, Inc., No. 3:18-cv-00852-MMA-BGS (S.D. Cal.).

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