The United States Commission on Civil Rights (USCCR) has re-opened the period for public comment on English-only policies in the workplace. On December 12, 2008, the USCCR held a briefing on this issue. A transcript of that briefing is available at the USCCR’s website. Written statements of invited panelists and a link to the C-SPAN broadcast can also be found at the agency’s site. (click on the heading: Commission Extends Comment Period on English in the Workplace Briefing until April 20, 2009).
According to the USCCR, the goal of the briefing was to examine whether employers have the legal authority to specify English as the official language of the workplace. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has taken the position that English-only policies risk national origin discrimination – a position that was heavily criticized by business interests during the Dec. 12 briefing.
Comments on English-only policies will be accepted until April 20, 2009. Such comments may be sent by mail to: English in the Workplace Comments, US Commission on Civil Rights, 624 Ninth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20425, or via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.