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.”

 

 

 

Latest News

Kelly Abcarian To Helm Measurement and Impact Group for NBCUniversal Advertising and Partnerships

Originally published at nbcuniversal.com. Comcast NBCUniversal ranked No. 7 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2020.   On April 21, NBCUniversal’s Advertising and Partnerships division announced the appointment of Kelly Abcarian to the role of Executive Vice President, Measurement & Impact. An industry-renowned advanced advertising leader, Abcarian will spearhead the…

Cox Communications logo on screen.

Cox Invested Nearly $1 Billion in Sustainability

Originally published at coxenterprises.com. Cox Communications ranked No. 17 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2020. On April 22, Cox Enterprises released Making Our Mark, its collective impact report, which details the company’s investment of nearly $1 billion in sustainable businesses and technologies, and more than…

Laura Fuentes Reflects on Hilton’s New Commitments to Advancing Diversity & Inclusion in the Hospitality Industry

Originally published at newsroom.hilton.com. Laura Fuentes is Hilton’s Chief Human Resources Officer. Hilton ranked No. 2 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2020.   Hilton has long been focused on creating an inclusive workplace and a culture shaped by its team members’ diverse backgrounds and experiences….