The topic scenario that I chose was on accent discrimination. In this scenario an employee named Maria has had her job threatened due to tardiness, attendance, and language problems. Specifically her rapid speech patterns and heavy accent had lead to communication issues within her workplace. This topic is important for the study of cultural diversity because many people who move to the United States have accents. I would like to discover whether language issues such as having an accent are sufficient grounds for termination.
To me this would seem to be an act of discrimination that conflicts with the Civil Rights Act (L.A. NOW, 2012). Therefore I would need to check the language of the bill to see if Maria’s case applies.
I plan to research the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (2002; EEOC Press Release, 2011) as well as publications on workplace fairness and discrimination from government websites. Pertinent cases to explore would be other language discrimination suits, especially any filed against Employers for wrongful termination due to an accent.
However situations could exist where the ability to be understood in plain English would be imperative to one’s employment, depending on the necessary responsibilities of a particular job. Any other cases where a precedent has already been set would be helpful to establish discrimination in Maria’s situation or possible wrongful termination (Workplace Fairness, 2009).
EEOC Press Release. (2011). Employees Fired For Speaking Spanish On The Job, Saying ‘Good Morning’ in Native Language. Retrieved from www.eeoc.gov.
L.A. NOW. (2012). State Senate approves bill banning language discrimination. Retrieved from http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2009/04/english-only.html
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. (2002). Language uses: Accent discrimination. Retrieved from http://www.eeoc.gov/policy/docs/national-origin.html
Workplace Fairness. (2009). Language discrimination. Retrieved from http://www.workplacefairness.org/language