Communications Strategies and Spanish-Speakers

By Karla Sanchez

To defend themselves against liability for co-worker harassment, employers sometimes assert the reasonable care they have taken to prevent harassing behavior. The U.S. District Court in Colorado found reason to doubt that an employer had taken reasonable care because (1) the aggrieved employees only spoke Spanish and the employer’s policy was only in English; and (2) the policy did not identify a Spanish-speaking official to receive complaints from Spanish-speaking employees. If your employees speak languages other than English, it is time to revise your communications strategy. EEOC v. Spud Seller, Inc., No. 10-cv-02381-MSK-KLM (D. Colo. Sept. 30, 2012).

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