Are Employee Language Requirements Lawful?

You Have Rights As A Worker. I Will Help Protect Them.
Denis ZilberbergApril 17, 2015Workplace Discrimination

As many employees in California know, finding a job can be difficult. Going for interviews is often nerve-wracking and when you start work in your new position it can take time to get used to all the requirements of your employment. However, all of this is fine and expected as long as those requirements are reasonable. Unfortunately, some employees find their situation is made even harder due to discriminatory treatment.

It is illegal for an employer to single you out based on your race or national origin. However, it is something that happens far too often. However, one thing many employees do not realize is that this discrimination does not have to take the form of verbal or physical harassment. It can even include policies that intentionally or unintentionally single someone out for their race.

For example, as this article on discrimination explains, a no-beard policy could be perceived to single out racial groups who are more inclined to grow beards due to a skin condition that makes shaving problematic due to the severe skin bumps left by the process. This can be very prevalent in men of African-American descent.

Another issue is language discrimination. It may be reasonable for a company to require employees to speak a particular language if it directly affects their ability to fulfill the requirements of their position. However, if this restriction attempts to prevent employees from using other languages during their breaks, this could fall under the umbrella of discrimination.

Everyone deserves to be treated fairly at work, so if you suspect your rights have been breached, you might benefit from the advice of an attorney. He or she can evaluate your case and may be able to support you if you decide to take legal action against your employer or anyone else responsible for your mistreatment at work.


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