I work with about 15 people, all speak english and 5 speak only english. The others speak spanish and the non-spanish speaker are not from the same city in Mexico that all the other (nepotism) workers are from. The 5 english speakers know/feel that they are being talked about, made fun of, harrassed, and spoke about in the different language, as it is very uncomfortable. It is to the point that the english only speaker want to buy a "real time translator ear piece" just to be able to not feel alienated and know what is being said, either to them or about them. What can be done, or is there anything to be brought to Human Resources attention with proof of laws, rights for the people that are from this Country (USA) as far as right go? I have researched that the spanish speaker have rights that American born citizens do not seem to possess. Please let me know I am wrong.
Not only is your employer PERMITTED to allow your coworkers to speak Spanish in the workplace if that is their preferred language, the general legal rule is that your employer is REQUIRED to allow them to use their preferred language in the workplace. "English-only" rules -- rules that require an employee to use English in the workplace -- are presumptively illegal.
It is not the case that Spanish speakers have rights that English speakers don't have. English speakers have the right to speak English in the workplace. Spanish speakers have the right to speak Spanish in the workplace. Korean speakers have the right to speak Korean in the workplace. And so forth. Everybody has the exact same right, and that is the right to speak whatever language they prefer.
There are some limited circumstances under which an employer can legally impose an "English-only" rule in the workplace. For instance, it would be legal for your employer to require employees to speak English whenever customers who speak only English are in the workplace. But if the only thing that is happening is that your coworkers are having casual conversations in their preferred language, they have a legal right to do it, just as you have the right to converse in the language that you are the most comfortable in.
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