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Employers Are Wise to Avoid English-Only Policies in Most Circumstances

JDSupra (05/11/2012)

Employers may believe that policies requiring employees to speak only English at work foster communication among employees and put a stop to rude or inconsiderate behavior toward employees who speak only English, but experts say such policies could expose them to liability. In California, for instance, employers can institute English-only policies only if justified by a business necessity, and employers must spell out when language restrictions must be observed as well as the consequences for violations. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission also requires that such policies be justified by a business necessity.