Some Jobs Genuinely Require Specific Languages, Which Is Not Discrimination
Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) July 11, 2013 – The nature of the workplace these days is such that some positions need to be filled by people who are able to speak a specific language.
“Being able to speak a specific language is now, more than ever, in demand in the workplace. With America being regarded as a true melting pot, the number of languages being spoken on a daily basis is on the increase,” outlined Timothy Coffey, a Chicago employment lawyer and principal attorney for The Coffey Law Office, P. C., an employment litigation firm dedicated to representing employees in the workplace. “Businesses and other government agencies need to be able to provide service to people in their own language.”
In Naficy v. Illinois Department of Human Services, No. 11-2144, 7th Cir., 2012, the plaintiff, a social worker, was employed by the Illinois Department of Human Services. The woman lost her position as a result of budget cuts. She filed a discrimination lawsuit alleging she had been overlooked for a job that asked for foreign language skills and that the position went to a junior Spanish speaking social worker. She indicated she spoke two other foreign languages, but not Spanish.
During trial, it was pointed out by the employer that they had hired a junior social worker because that individual spoke fluent Spanish, a requirement of the job. They could not just accept any language despite the fact that the plaintiff spoke Darai and Farsi.
“The court dismissed the case, as it stated that if bilingualism in a specific language is a job requirement, that it had to be the language being asked for, and not just any other language. In other words, hiring someone for the ability to speak a specific, required language for a job did not amount to discrimination,” Coffey stated.
It is important to note that while there are certainly some instances where discrimination does occur in the workplace, not all cases are in fact discrimination. “If someone has doubts about what they have experienced at work and suspect discrimination, they need to speak with a competent employment lawyer to find out if they do have reason to file a lawsuit,” said Coffey.
Timothy Coffey is a Chicago employment lawyer and principal attorney for The Coffey Law Office, P. C., an employment litigation firm dedicated to representing employees in the workplace. To learn more or to contact a Chicago employment attorney, visit http://www.employmentlawcounsel.com
THE COFFEY LAW OFFICE, P.C.
351 W. Hubbard Street, Suite 602
Chicago, IL 60654
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