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Speaking English on the Job is Common Sense... Right?

The Loft, November 27, 2007 - posted by Bobby Eberle
A new survey shows that a vast majority of Americans believe that companies should be allowed to require employees to speak English while on the job. This makes perfect sense, right? If you're on a construction site, and there is a large steel I-beam heading for your head, you'd probably want your co-workers to warn you about it... in English! But yet again, this type of policy is causing an uproar, this time in Connecticut, where a sheet metal plant is being sued by five Spanish-speaking workers because the company "ordered its employees to speak only English on the job because of safety concerns." First, some numbers... According to a new poll by Rasmussen Reports, 77% of American voters say "companies should be allowed to require employees to speak English while on the job." The telephone survey found only 14% disagree with the position.

The English-only worksite sentiment crosses party affiliations with 84% of Republicans and 70% of Democrats in agreement. "Just 13% of American voters believe that requiring workers to speak English is a form of racism or bigotry. Seventy-nine percent (79%) disagree."

Rasmussen notes that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) does not feel the same way as the vast majority of the American public. Rasmussen cites EEOC documents which state "linguistic characteristics are closely associated with national origin" and can therefore be used to "discriminate on the basis of national origin." Continued...

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