Required to only speak English at work.

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Required to only speak English at work.


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Old 12-03-2014, 07:16 AM
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Required to only speak English at work.

Hi everyone tried looking for an answer on the net without much success.
My wife's place of employment has decreed that people of a certain race are not to use their native language ANYTIME at work. No other races were mentioned.
My question is it legal, and by picking on a particular race is it racial discrimination?

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Old 12-03-2014, 07:19 AM
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That doesn't seem right. I have worked in places where employees must speak English and English only but it was applied to everyone not just a specific race. What is their rationalization for this? Are there other foreigners working there who speak other languages? That's very odd...


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Old 12-03-2014, 07:25 AM
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Originally Posted by summerandtilly View Post
That doesn't seem right. I have worked in places where employees must speak English and English only but it was applied to everyone not just a specific race. What is their rationalization for this? Are there other foreigners working there who speak other languages? That's very odd...
The claim is that other staff have complained, even though only English is used to address them. There are other nationalities at the workplace, if they speak to each other in another language I can't comment.

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Last edited by aussiesteve; 12-03-2014 at 08:09 AM.

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Old 12-03-2014, 07:37 AM
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I think it is fair that everyone speak only English at workplace. However, it is wrong to pick out one particular race. It is a discrimination.


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Old 12-04-2014, 01:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aussiesteve View Post
Hi everyone tried looking for an answer on the net without much success.
My wife's place of employment has decreed that people of a certain race are not to use their native language ANYTIME at work. No other races were mentioned.
My question is it legal, and by picking on a particular race is it racial discrimination?
I would call it discrimination. It would be fine if they said all non English speakers could not speak their native language at work but to target one race specific is discrimination.

You can give fair work Australia and have a chat to them about it or check out the fair work Australia website.


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Old 12-05-2014, 02:16 AM
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to be fair most work places only use the english language after all most employment is based on the ability to speak english. i had a discussion about this subject recently and was told that due to the facility employing english speaking people they have the right to maintain that language. asked why because if people get into the habit of speaking there own language anything detrimental can be said between each party, plus if an enquiry was made into allegations ect within the work force and no other could understand the conversation they overheard ect no action can be taken. i understand its a problem but there well within there rights to put in place an only english speaking workplace. you also have to understand some people are paranoid when hearing people speak another language.

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Old 12-05-2014, 03:27 AM
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I agree on the need for the use of English only in the workplace but I feel that prohibiting people from talking to each other in their own language at lunchtime is over the top.
The comment that some people feel that these non English speaking people are talking about them is pretty close to the truth, it turns out that the reason for the ban was the result of a new employee from England complaining that she couldn't understand what they were talking about.

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Old 12-05-2014, 03:35 AM
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Where I work even if on breaks you can't speak in non English speaking language and it is exactly for that reason.

I think a work place has to say that everyone has to speak English they just can't say anyone from x has to speak English. It is a all for one thing.


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Old 12-05-2014, 03:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Mish View Post
Where I work even if on breaks you can't speak in non English speaking language and it is exactly for that reason.

I think a work place has to say that everyone has to speak English they just can't say anyone from x has to speak English. It is a all for one thing.
That's the real point Mish, they have singled out a particular group , who make up about 85% of the workforce, which is discriminatory. As the company only employs people on a permanent part time basis,there has already been a suggestion that everyone belonging to the particular race may put themselves down as unavailable on the same day as a form of protest.

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Old 12-07-2014, 06:24 AM
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That's the real point Mish, they have singled out a particular group , who make up about 85% of the workforce, which is discriminatory. As the company only employs people on a permanent part time basis,there has already been a suggestion that everyone belonging to the particular race may put themselves down as unavailable on the same day as a form of protest.
Maybe that is the point......and permanent part time workers would be in some trouble to do what you suggest.
I suspect this has been a growing problem for this company for some time to have to take this action.
It is going to be hard to prove "racial discrimination" for 85%+ of the workforce.
More like failure to follow company policies.....
Is there an employment contract? Perhaps is is stated here that all communication is in English?

Perhaps there is a safety reason as well?
If 85% of the workers are from one particular ESL group then maybe there is a strong reason for enforcing "English only" to ensure safety directions are understood.

Many organisations require English to be spoken on site to ensure easier communication of safety directions and operations.

No harm - no problem.....just do the job as instructed.

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