California State Senate approves bill banning language discrimination. Business owners better start learning Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Arabic and every other language.
The L.A. Times reports here. This is an interesting topic that many people can argue either way. BUT – since it mentions employment as well as well then it opens the door for a jury, and not the business owner, to decide if speaking English is needed to do a job.
Alarmed that a professional golf association proposed to exclude competitors who don’t speak English, the state Senate acted today to prohibit businesses in California from discriminating against customers, including refusing them service, based on the language they use.
The Ladies Professional Golf Assn. last year backed down from a policy that would have suspended golfers who do not speak adequate English on the premise that language fluency in speeches and media interviews was critical to the sport’s promotion efforts.
The golfers were considered “patrons” of the LPGA, not employees.
State Sen. Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) said the policy raised an issue that required changes to state civil rights laws that already protect employees from discrimination based on language.
“I don’t understand the connection between speaking English and playing golf,” Yee said on the Senate floor. “This is really about protecting our ability to speak the language that we wish.”
That is very true of a golfer that jet sets around the world playing golf. Why expect them to learn a dozen new languages? But what about all of the people that work for that golf association only in the United States? Some groups oppose the bill:
The bill drew concerns from U.S. English, a group that promotes English-only policies. Rob Toonkel, a spokesman for the group, said it makes good sense for businesses to treat customers well.
“Where we have concern is putting language on par with unchangeable characteristics,” Toonkel said. “You can’t change your gender. You can’t change your disability. You can change the language you speak. You can learn to say, ‘I’d like a hamburger.’ “
Let’s look at it another way. This bill basically means that all of the business owners in California better take courses in Spanish, Vietnamese, Chinese etc because the politicians think it’s better for a business owner and the current employees to learn ten or twelve new languages instead of one person learning English. Great logic California.