Language Discrimination in the Educational Workplace

Access this 7-minute video now and learn what you can legally expect from faculty or staff members when it comes to English-language ability and fluency. Discover:

  • The two main traps that lead to illegal discrimination based on language
  • How to tell when a language issue needs attention, and when it doesn’t
  • What to do when a language barrier is a distraction, but not a communication issue
Language Discrimination in the Educational Workplace

Why are we giving you all this for free? Because it’s the best way we know to introduce you to a new approach to management and employment law compliance training in your educational institution.

Here’s how it works: Request your video on language discrimination now and we’ll email you a user name and password that gives you instant access to the Education Leadership and Administration Rapid Learning Center. There you’ll find your training video on language discrimination and a collection of other training resources for school administrators and professionals. You’ll have unlimited access to this powerful library of e-learning modules, reports and fast-read articles for 30 days.

More information for those who love the details …

Why Language Discrimination is a growing concern

The American workforce is getting more diverse every day. As a result, a growing number of faculty and staff members don’t speak English as their first language.

In many cases, it’s not an issue. Either they’ve mastered the English language and there are no communication challenges, or they work in a capacity where their limited English skills don’t interfere with their ability to do their jobs.

But what happens when limited English skills or a heavy accent become problematic? What can you do when students, parents or co-workers struggle to understand what a staffer is saying? What should you do if someone comments that they’re uncomfortable when others are speaking a foreign language? Can you set an English-only policy while on the job? What about when workers are on their own time? Can you still enforce the policy?

Language Discrimination in a nutshell

According to the law, you can expect that a faculty or staff member’s ability to speak English and/or accent won’t materially interfere with the performance of their job duties.

This means that an employment decision – hiring, transfer or promotion – based on accent or fluency isn’t unlawful if the person is unable to perform the job duties expected of them. For example, if a maintenance worker is incapable of following or understanding safety instructions that put others at risk, or if a language barrier prevents staff members from participating in meetings, then you are allowed to take action.

Learn more about how to respond when a faculty or staff member’s grasp of English impacts their performance. Access this free video now.

Language Discrimination: Where most administrators go wrong

There are two big traps you can fall into when dealing with those whose English is difficult to understand:

  • The first: Assuming that every job requires effective oral communication. That just isn’t so.
  • The second: Assuming that any degree of foreign accent disqualifies the person.

The EEOC says that administrators must “distinguish between a merely discernable foreign accent and one that interferes with the communications skills necessary to perform job duties.”

That’s how you can tell whether a faculty or staff member’s accent requires action on your part. Is the way the faculty or staff member speaks English merely different, or does the person’s accent make them truly difficult to understand, which affects their ability to perform their job duties?

Language discrimination is a complicated issue that must be handled with care. Give your team an understanding of the rules they must follow to respect co-worker rights while ensuring strong communication throughout your educational institution.

Access your free copy of “Language Discriminaiton in the Educational Workplace” as part of a 30-day trial to the Education Leadership and Administration Rapid Learning Center.


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