Just curious, wouldn’t they know they couldn’t speak English when they hired them?

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has filed suit against a Wisconsin-based manufacturer for firing employees of Hmong and Hispanic employees because they don’t speak English on the job.

The EEOC says it’s a matter of discrimination based on an employee’s “national origin, which includes the linguistic characteristics of a national origin group.” In this case, Wisconsin Plastics, Inc. allegedly violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by firing non-English speakers “based on 10-minute observations that marked them down for their English skills, even though those skills were not needed to perform their jobs.”

In other words, those groups’ linguistic characteristics must be honored by employers who typically are more interested in productivity and profit than hurting someone’s feelings during a scheduled work shift because they can’t communicate with them.

It’s not clear what criteria the EEOC used to determine whether speaking English is an essential workplace skill at Wisconsin Plastics.

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