Workplace Rantings provides comprehensive news, articles and resources about worker's rights and workplace issues. Join our cause to stop workplace discrimination and harassment. Let's take a stand and promote fairness in the workplace!
Take Action >>> no registration required.

WORKPLACE: Lawsuits over accent discrimination on rise


If you decide to fire that worker who hails from Bezerkistan because his accent is way too, well, Bezerkistani, here’s a legal hint: Don’t.

OK, there is no such place as Bezerkistan, it’s a made-up country by Garry Trudeau, the satirist behind “Doonesbury.” But it makes a point that workplace discrimination lawsuits from workers who were fired because the boss didn’t like his or her foreign accent increased by 76 percent between 1997 and 2001.

In 2011, more than 11,800 complaints for national origin discrimination were filed with the U.S. Equal Opportunity Employment Commission. That’s attributed to the fact that the workforce is more ethnically diverse than ever before. More than 45 million Americans speak a language other than English at home.

Also, there are more complaints because more people have learned that it’s illegal to discriminate this way. Civil rights advocates, including the American Civil Liberties Union, say issues like this are popping up more frequently in states that are taking strong anti-immigration stances.

Then there is the Russian-born long-haul truck driver whose employer was issued a warning by a state official at a roadside weigh station in Utah because the person monitoring truck traffic at that station did not like the accent. Maybe the attendant has just seen an old James Bond movie.

According to Insurance Journal, an industry publication, driver Ismail Aliyev said “I think for a truck driver, my English is not too bad.”

Print Friendly
Did you like this? Share it:

No Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Current month ye@r day *