Good job, Nancy! Thank you for spending your political capital to kill a bill with majority support in both houses. Keep it up, Mrs. P. The voters are learning of your arrogance. With a few more stunts like this, you will be self-deporting from the Speaker’s Office.
Meanwhile, in Connecticut, five Spanish-speaking immigrants (who are in the country legally, according to news reports) filed suit against their employer for requiring that they speak English on the job. During work breaks and lunch hours and on their own time, the employees were free to speak Spanish or Vietnamese or a remote dialect of Chinese for all their employer cared, but, on the job – in the potentially dangerous confines of a sheet metal manufacturing and finishing plant – employees had to speak English.
This is the type of situation which calls out for what lawyers like myself call “a bright-line rule,” a simple statement of what is legal and what is not. No such luck. If a private employer wants to require the use of English in the workplace, the law states that the employer cannot make a blanket demand for English by all employees at all times; meanwhile, a more nuanced policy which only requires English of certain employees at certain times because of safety or business considerations may be legal, but no one really knows for sure until a disgruntled employee (or left-wing extremist group) files a claim. Click to read the EEOC’s twisted explanation of the pretzel-like law.
Because the rules are so complicated, employers are forced to hire expensive lawyers to review and revise their English-only policies – a needless expense since all the employers want to do is make sure that everyone on the job speaks the language of the country.
Senator Alexander gets it. The American people get it (a recent Rasmussen poll indicates Americans overwhelmingly support an employer’s right to establish and maintain English-only standards in the workplace (77 percent support the employer’s right to 14 percent who oppose it)). Even the United States Congress gets this one (Senate 75-19 and House 218-186). Apparently only Pelosi, Baca and the Hispanic Caucus don’t!
“A federal agency says it is illegal for an employer to require employees to speak in English, which, in plain English, means that thousands of small businesses in America would have to hire a lawyer and be prepared to make their case to a federal agency that there is some special reason to justify speaking English on the job,” Senator Alexander said in a statement after Pelosi killed his amendment. “I believe this is a gross distortion of the Civil Rights Act and a complete misunderstanding of what it means to be an American.”
While Senator Alexander is correct, I also say: Bring it on! Let’s have more employees filing more ridiculous lawsuits against companies that require English, generating more and more press. Let’s have the majority of voters – understandably distracted right now with the holiday season – learn over time how unreasonable and un-American many of the people in the illegal alien lobby are. Why?
Because what goes around comes around. In time, these outrages – and many others which I discuss daily on my radio show – will result in legislation far stricter than Senator Alexander’s toe in the water. Enough of these contemptible lawsuits (brought under color of misguided and misinterpreted U.S. law) will inevitably result in tough enforcement legislation which will cause millions of illegal aliens to self-deport.
So, keep it up, Speaker Pelosi, disgruntled employees and illegal alien supporters who enjoy the benefits of America but refuse to shoulder the responsibilities, keep it up. You will win a few battles, and those victories will cause you to lose the war, for which I will be thankful.
Kevin James began his professional career in 1988 as a lawyer with one of Los Angeles' largest law firms. Soon thereafter, Kevin spent more than 3 years as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in LA, and then more than 10 years as a litigator in high profile entertainment matters.
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