In March 2003 the manager of Dunken Donuts in Yonkers, New York posted a sign inviting customers to complain if they heard employees seeking other than English behind the counter. 1 day later he removed his sign because the complaints were that he was being discriminative. The interesting thing about the case is that the manager spoke Spanish as his first language but always spoke English at work. He felt that there were good reasons to speak English only at work and those reasons related to bonding of employees in a team atmosphere. He feels that when a language other than English is spoken, it causes poor attitudes and people do not get along as well (Rodriquez, 2005).
On the other hand, in another case, the manager of an insurance company was consistently angry about Tony who liked to speak Cantonese to his Chinese co-workers. The manager believes that employees should only speak English while on the job. Eventually the company did put together an English speaking only rule and Tony left the company. Tony felt that the English only rule violated antidiscrimination laws. Certainly by leaving the company, the company has lost the diversity of information that Tony may have had (Thornton, 2004).
However, the Supreme Court declared that employers could, in fact, enforce English only rules in the workplace. Many people find this a boon for working conditions but it is difficult to see it one way. While many think it is positive for the work place, there are just as many that believe that having language diversity is as important as cultural diversity, knowledge diversity and more. For example when Tony lost his job, he got a job recruiting Cantonese speaking Engineers and Scientist (Thornton, 2004).
Interestingly enough, though the Supreme Court supported the use of English only rules, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act states that it is discriminatory unless there is a business necessity. As there is confusion in the law, so there is also confusion ...
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