job language Puerto Rican nurses Florida Department of Health Haines City Polk County Spanish discrimination
Photo Courtesy of The Orlando Sentinel

Florida Nurses Threatened With Termination For Speaking Spanish On The Job

Seven Puerto Rican health professionals, including nurses, claimed that they would be fired for speaking Spanish on the job to one another. A supervisor reportedly made the threat, according to Remezcla. The women are employees at a Florida Health Department clinic in Polk County.

The women said during a news conference on Monday they were hired due to their ability to speak Spanish with patients in the Haines City clinic. The women are bilingual. They have since filed a discrimination complaint with Human Resources as well as wrote a letter to the Florida Health Department. The supervisor’s alleged on-the-job threat could be a discrimination violation of federal workplace directives.

Related Story: Cardi B. Sets the Record Straight About Her Race and Ethnicity

One of the staff nurses said that they were vigilant about speaking English when they were around non-Spanish-speaking patients and staff. However, they preferred to talk to one another in their native language when speaking with one another. One nurse told an NBC affiliate, WFLA, that she found it difficult to go back and forth between English and Spanish with other nurses because Spanish served as their default language in their primary duties.

“I don’t feel comfortable. I feel like if I speak Spanish, they’re watching me, they’re gonna fire me, they’re gonna do something because I’m speaking my language. And it’s hard because I practically speak Spanish all day with the patients,” she said. “The majority of the patients that come through the clinic speak Spanish; they don’t speak English. That’s why I was hired.”

Another nurse, who has worked at the facility for seven years, Mairylí Miranda said: “They are always making condescending comments and going after us.”

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission states that companies cannot restrict the language of its employees. It would be a violation of their civil rights. It is a violation “if it is applied at all times in the workplace,” but such policies may be lawful “in limited circumstances,” such as promoting “safe and efficient business operations.”

 

 

 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

Latest News

locker firefighters Mississippi Shelton russell fire department Hattiesburg lynching noose

Former Mississippi Firefighter Lieutenant Attributes Noose in Locker Room to ‘Lawless Wild West,’ Not Racism

A noose found in a white lieutenant’s locker in a Hattiesburg, Miss., fire department has caused a rift between Black and white firefighters and has resulted in the resignation of the station’s lieutenant. According to the Associated Press, Shelton Russell, a 22-year veteran with the fire department, left his position…

indicted, baltimore, correctional officers

Judge Releasing Most of 25 Baltimore Correctional Officers Indicted, Accused of Excessive Force and Corruption

Twenty-five Baltimore correctional officers were indicted Tuesday with allegations of assaulting and threatening detainees in a state-run jail, tampering with evidence and falsifying correctional documents. Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Jennifer Friedman released most of them Wednesday, pending their trial. Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby’s office secured these 25…

impeachment, Nancy Pelosi, Donald Trump

Nancy Pelosi Says U.S. House of Representatives Will Proceed With Articles of Impeachment Against President Trump

Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Thursday the U.S. House of Representatives will proceed with articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump.  In an announcement on Capitol Hill, Pelosi said “the president leaves us no choice” in pursuing the impeachment. “In the course of today’s events it becomes necessary for…