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Meiac09 01-22-2010 07:43 PM

Yale Bookstore wants its employees to speak English...
 
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100122/...e_english_only

what a thinker. I personally think that that ought to be everywhere. My ancestors learned English. Why the hell can't any of them? If I move to another country, I damn sure will learn their language, even if english is a socially normal language. But this... is whining bleeding heart fundamentalists gone off the deep end.

English-only at Conn. bookstore sparks controversy

By JOHN CHRISTOFFERSEN, Associated Press Writer
Fri Jan 22, 2:51 pm ET

NEW HAVEN, Conn. A popular bookstore and cafe near Yale University wants its many Hispanic employees to speak only English around customers, sparking controversy in immigrant-friendly New Haven, where students fight for immigrant rights.
Atticus Bookstore and Cafe recently issued a policy stating that English should be the only language spoken on the floor and behind the counter. "Spanish is allowed in the prep area, the dishwasher area and the lower level. Let's make our customers feel welcome and comfortable," the policy states, according to New Haven Workers Association, a group of activists who said employees gave them a copy.
"I'm really appalled," said Tim Stewart-Winter, a Yale lecturer. "As a New Haven resident and member of the Yale community, I think diversity is a strength of this country."
Stewart-Winter said he likes to take out-of-town guests to Atticus, but may not now because of the policy.
Bridget Pierpont, a 40-year-old New Haven resident, said she was texting a friend as she passed Atticus on Thursday suggesting they no longer go to the bookstore because of the language policy.
"Frankly, I think that's part of the charm of this place," Pierpont said. "I think they should absolutely be able to speak Spanish here."
Atticus owner Charles Negaro issued a statement saying his business appreciates and accepts all languages and offers free English language classes to employees.
"We encourage the use of English because it's an appropriate way to be most helpful to our customers," Negaro said. "To continue to provide the best service possible, we try to help those employees who speak English as a second language by helping them improve their use of English."
Negaro said news reports about the policy have been inaccurate and "if these news reports have offended anyone, I am sorry."
"Atticus managers and staff are reviewing our policy of appropriate language usage to determine how we can avoid misinterpretations of this kind in the future," the statement said.
Negaro declined to comment beyond the statement.
Most of those interviewed outside the bookstore disagreed with the policy. But Peter Indorf, who owns a jewelry store nearby, defended Negaro.
"He's a solid member of the community," Indorf said. "He's entitled to do what he wants."
Deborah Malatesta, a member of the New Haven Workers Association, said the group plans to demonstrate Saturday in front of the bookstore. She said the policy is discriminatory.
The move comes in a city that was the first in the nation to offer identification cards to illegal immigrants. Yale Law School has been active fighting for immigrant rights, filing lawsuits over immigration raids conducted by federal authorities.
Employers are allowed to enact an English-only policy if it is needed to promote the safe or efficient operation of their business, according to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Examples include communications with customers, co-workers or supervisors who only speak English, emergency situations in which workers must speak a common language to promote safety and cooperative work assignments in which a common language is needed to promote efficiency.
The EEOC has successfully challenged some policies for going too far.
A group of nursing homes in California and Texas agreed last year to pay up to $450,000 to employees who said they faced discrimination for speaking Spanish at work. In 2003, the Colorado Central Station casino agreed to pay more than $1.5 million to 36 former housekeepers who say they were ordered not to speak Spanish on the job.
Courts have been divided on the issue. A court in New York in 2005 ruled against the EEOC and upheld a policy by a cosmetic store in Rockefeller Center that required employees to speak English when on the sales floor and customers are present, even if they are not communicating with customers.
Blanket policies often run into trouble, but more narrowly focused approaches are more likely to be upheld, said Peggy Mastroianni, associate legal counsel at EEOC.

nom3rcy 01-22-2010 10:11 PM

If I moved to Mexico, Spain, or Germany, I would absolutely not expect people to be accommodating of my english-only vocabulary, and I fully expect I would have to learn the language to excel. Where do non-english speakers get the balls to even think this way? Why aren't they proud to be American, and proud to speak our language? Why did they come here?

Repoman 03-09-2010 11:00 PM

I'm afraid we as a country might have a lot to do with this. BTW, I agree completely with you both and it irks me when I see government signage in other languages like they are almost promoting it. Also, most companies contribute to this as well. Companies actively pursue minority business and not by teaching them how to speak english but by speaking their customer's language. Most companies go as far as to translate their forms into other languages to make their customer feel comfortable. Also, try to get a sales job these days w/o being bi-lingual . . . you will take a back seat to the bi-lingual candidate every time. So it seems that we as a country are creating this monster. It's gone even further than just language too . . . we don't say the pledge of allegiance anymore in school, do we? Probably because of the word "GOD" in it. Also, I'm sure it's not too much longer before the word "GOD" gets taken off our money. With the road that we're going down as a country, I expect many more BS changes like these . . . poor leadership, no consequences. We're too preoccupied with not stepping on the toes of the minority that we are dropping bowling balls on the feet of the majority . . . there's a phrase for that and it's called "political correctness."

MPowerFarmer 06-02-2010 04:12 AM

Just hire white people to wash the dishes. I'm sure they'll work just as hard for the same minimum wage while never expecting a raise. :)

FSETH 06-02-2010 08:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MPowerFarmer (Post 745747)
Just hire white people to wash the dishes. I'm sure they'll work just as hard for the same minimum wage while never expecting a raise. :)

Do you really have a problem with this?

The article says "Spanish is allowed in the prep area, the dishwasher area and the lower level". It sounds to me like the owner wants his employees to speak english when they are in areas with the customers. Seeing as english is the national language, what is wrong with that? It is a business decision to communicate in the langue that most people speak.

blktoptrvl 06-02-2010 12:05 PM

If you read the article you will see that the issue is not about employees communicating with customers in spanish.

It is about the school (or store) wanting employees to speak in english no matter what they are doing - if they are near a customer.


So, if they are just walking with a friend talking about last night's baseball game, for some reason, they are now required to do that in english.

Kinda stupid if you ask me. Who cares what language they are speaking to each other in?

m5james 06-02-2010 02:29 PM

You're in America, speak the language. I practically need subtitles on the ordering screen everytime I goto a drive-thru. I'm by no means a racist, but as stated above, I fully expect to be forced to learn another langauge and their "rules" when I go there. For example, I'm planning on going to Abu Dhabi for two months...the first thing I did was get books in regards to dress codes, religious beliefs (even though I'm Athiest), etc, etc. The region I goto shouldn't adapt around me and it'll only benefit me more to learn the language they speak and be fluent in it wherever I go, especially If I plan on living there.

FSETH 06-02-2010 04:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by blktoptrvl (Post 745840)
If you read the article you will see that the issue is not about employees communicating with customers in spanish.

It is about the school (or store) wanting employees to speak in english no matter what they are doing - if they are near a customer.


So, if they are just walking with a friend talking about last night's baseball game, for some reason, they are now required to do that in english.

Kinda stupid if you ask me. Who cares what language they are speaking to each other in?

I understand that they want the employees to speak english in areas where customers may be present and I don't have a problem with that at all. If employees talk to each other in a language other than english, it may make some paying customers uncomfortable. Especially if the customers aren't fluent in that particular language. It may turn some people off from visiting that establishment or using that companies services.

For example, I felt a little uncomfortable when the guys doing a plumbing job at my house talked to each other strictly in Russian, but were both able to speak english. They could have been talking about the job or anything else and I had absolutely no clue.

I personally feel that in a professional environment, it is not asking too much if an employer wants his or her employees to use the national language.

blktoptrvl 06-02-2010 04:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FSETH (Post 745918)
I understand that they want the employees to speak english in areas where customers may be present and I don't have a problem with that at all. If employees talk to each other in a language other than english, it may make some paying customers uncomfortable. Especially if the customers aren't fluent in that particular language. It may turn some people off from visiting that establishment or using that companies services.

For example, I felt a little uncomfortable when the guys doing a plumbing job at my house talked to each other strictly in Russian, but were both able to speak english. They could have been talking about the job or anything else and I had absolutely no clue.

I personally feel that in a professional environment, it is not asking too much if an employer wants his or her employees to use the national language.

People have been speaking all languages of the world in this country since this country began. To get in a huff now, because it is a bunch of Mexicans makes no sense at all.

When my Russian friends get together they speak Russian. When I come into the room, if the conversation is not private, they switch to English to include me. If they don't switch, I assume it is a private conversation they do not want to share.

I guess people are paranoid and afraid someone is talking about them - if that's the case, they should get over it, they aren't that important. If they are afraid that someone is plotting some kind of attack, then they need to realize how stupid that is.

Quicksilver 06-02-2010 04:31 PM

:iagree: IMO it's just old school good manners


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