California Grocer Facing Lawsuit over No-Spanish Language Policy

May 7, 2018

A grocery store in San Diego, Calif. subjected Hispanic employees to harassment and a hostile work environment by implementing a no-Spanish language policy, federal officials said in a lawsuit.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a lawsuit alleging store managers at Albertsons publicly reprimanded Hispanic employees who were caught speaking Spanish. The workers were barred from speaking Spanish around non-Spanish speakers, even during breaks or when talking to Spanish-speaking customers, the lawsuit said.

No action was taken despite employee complaints, causing some workers to transfer to other stores, according to the EEOC.

Albertsons wouldn’t comment on the lawsuit but said in a statement that it does not require its employees speak English only.

“Albertsons serves a diverse customer population and encourages employees with foreign language abilities to use those skills to serve its customers,” the statement said.

The conduct violates the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the EEOC said.

“It is extremely important for workers to feel safe in coming forward to report harassment,” said Christopher Green, director of the EEOC’s San Diego office. “It is equally important for employers to make certain that harassment is investigated and addressed appropriately.”

The Albertsons chain is one of the largest food and drug retailers in the U.S., employing about 280,000 people in 35 states.

Was this article valuable?

Here are more articles you may enjoy.

Latest Comments

  • May 8, 2018 at 5:29 pm
    helpingout says:
    Hi Craig, I understand it can be somewhat confusing but while English is the most frequently used language, there is no national language within the US. Again we have no desig... read more
  • May 8, 2018 at 2:28 pm
    Craig Cornell says:
    Bi-lingual? You narrow-minded, culturally insensitive person! Here in San Diego, we have people from all over the globe for some reason. Chinese. Iranians. The second largest ... read more
  • May 8, 2018 at 9:36 am
    Fair Playing Field says:
    The issue in this case is not being unable to speak English - an employer can decline to hire someone who doesn't - but rather requiring employees to speak only English while ... read more

Add a CommentSee All Comments (5)Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


More News
More News Features