Fredonia, NY asked in Employment Law and Employment Discrimination for New York

Q: Can my job order me not to speak Spanish unless I am with a Spanish customer?

I'm from Florida.

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Employment Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: In New York, employment law typically protects employees from discrimination based on national origin, which can include language. If your employer's policy of not speaking Spanish except with Spanish-speaking customers appears to be unfairly targeting your national origin or culture, it could potentially be considered discriminatory.

However, there are situations where employers can set language requirements if they are necessary for conducting business effectively and safely. For instance, if speaking a common language is essential for safety reasons or to ensure efficient operations, such policies might be legally permissible.

It's important to consider the specific context and reasons behind the policy. If you feel that this policy is discriminatory or if it's applied inconsistently, you might want to discuss your concerns with your employer or seek legal advice to understand your rights and options under New York employment laws.

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