Under new rules put forth by the Obama administration, it’s now considered discriminatory for companies in the U.S. to require that employees speak English, but it’s OK to require that workers speak a foreign language.
The new enforcement guideline is meant to crack down on “national origin discrimination” in the workplace, because according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the American workforce is “increasingly ethnically diverse.”
“The increased cultural diversity of today’s workplaces presents new and evolving issues with respect to Title VII’s protection against national origin discrimination,” the EEOC writes. “This enforcement guidance will assist EEOC staff in their investigation of national origin discrimination charges and provide information for applicants, employees, and employers to understand their respective rights and responsibilities under Title VII.”
So how did this rule come about? Judicial Watch breaks it down:
Two years ago, the administration laid the foundation for the new measures by suing a private American business for discriminating against Hispanic and Asian employees because they didn’t speak English on the job. The case involved a Green Bay Wisconsin metal and plastic manufacturer that fired a group of Hmong and Hispanic workers over their English skills. Forcing employees to speak English in the U.S. violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the EEOC claimed in its lawsuit. That’s because the Civil Rights Act protects employees from discrimination based on national origin, which includes the linguistic characteristics of a national origin group. Therefore, the EEOC argued, foreigners have the right to speak their native language even during work hours at an American company that requires English.
Also included in the rules are new discrimination categories such as using Social Security requirements to screen applicants and relying on “word-of-mouth recruiting,” which the EEOC states could “magnify existing ethnic, racial or religious homogeneity in a workplace and result in the exclusion of qualified applicants from different national origin groups.”
According to Judicial Watch, the enforcement guidelines are another example of the Obama administration “strong-arm[ing] businesses and government agencies into adopting [their] leftist agenda and inflated standards of political correctness.”