Albertsons Slapped with Federal Lawsuit for Prohibiting Employees to Speak Spanish

A U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission spokesperson declared that the state agency filed a language-based discrimination lawsuit against Albertson’s. According to the 8-pages-long complaint, the company is accused of prohibiting its employees from speaking in Spanish while on store’s premises.

Albertsons Adopts Tacit Non-Spanish Speaking Policy

Recently, Albertsons, considered one of the largest grocery store chains in the United States, has been sued by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, following an investigation conducted in San Carlos.

Based on what the EEOC investigators discovered, the company actively discriminates against Spanish-speaking employees, forcing them to speak only English while on premises, regardless if a customer speaks the same language or not.

More than that, according to the complaint filed by EEOC, the company doesn’t take lightly to employees speaking in Spanish. Staff members caught uttering in a non-English language were severely reprimanded, as the document reveals.

The language policy stemmed from a decision the company adopted back in 2012 which expressly forbade Spanish-speaking staff member to communicate with non-Spanish-speaking customers in other languages than English in order to avoid confusion.

However, as the document reveals, the policy got twisted, resulting in Albertsons punishing staff members heard speaking in that language.

Although Albertsons was made aware of the charges, a company’s spokesperson declared that Albertsons has never adopted an English-only policy, allowing their staff members to use what language they prefer when talking to each other.

On the other hand, EEOC’s lawsuit paints an entirely different picture.

Conclusion

The complaint reveals that the Spanish-only policy is the least of the company’s concerns. Evidence shows that managers were instructed to observe and report any incidents of this nature.

More than that, since the beginning of 2012, Richard Brown, the store’s director has verbally abused and discriminated Hispanic employee, threatening to discipline them in public or to terminate their contracts.

Image source: Flickr

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