California Hospital Pays $975,000 to settle employment discrimination case involving non-English language in the workplace

A California hospital has agreed to pay a $975,000 settlement in a harassment and discrimination case that alleged the employer created a hostile work environment for Filipino staff members.

The case involved claims from about 70 current and former Filipino employees who said they were taunted and threatened by non-Filipino employees for speaking Tagalog or other Filipino languages while working at Delano.

In 2006, Delano’s CEO and management held a meeting exclusively for Filipino and Filipino-American employees regarding the health system’s English-only policy, according to a statement Sept. 17 from the EEOC. The policy required workers to speak English at all times at work, except during breaks or while working with non-English-speaking patients.

For years after that point, EEOC said that the hospital and its policy encouraged employees to act as “vigilantes” in reprimanding and reporting Filipino employees who spoke Tagalog or Ilocano on the job. While Filipino employees were disciplined for allegedly violating the language policy, the EEOC said that workers who spoke Spanish and other languages on the job were not disciplined.

Read more at the link below.

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