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Debra, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 101016
Experience:  Lawyer
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My brother is in training to do renovation work - building

Customer Question

My brother is in training to do renovation work - building cabinets, grout work, etc. He is not unionized. He is working with three other men. He is on a legitimate payroll.
Yesterday, one of the senior men of his crew said that he cannot speak any more English in this work milieu. My brother is able to speak French and generally speaks in French. Sometimes he speaks English to one of the men who comes from Ontario and speaks English. He doesn't know the names of the tools in French so he says the English name for the tool. Generally, he speaks English. My brother does not deal with clients only the crew members.
Is it legal to forbid my brother from speaking English in this working milieu? Can he be fired for speaking some English?
Thank you,
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Canada Law
Expert:  Debra replied 2 years ago.

How long has your brother worked for this company?

Is it just a coworker that is telling you he cannot speak English or is it someone who actually has the authority to instruct him and possibly dismiss him?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
He has worked for this company for about 4 months.
It is a coworker who is telling him not to speak English. This coworker is the most senior and experienced worker. I don't believe that he can fire him.
My brother does not have experience in renovation work and so I think that these skilled workers are frustrated that they have to teach/train him. My brother is probably slowing them down. I think that the banning of speaking English is a way to make my brother quit this job. They are not supportive and put him down with passive-aggressive language.
Expert:  Debra replied 2 years ago.

He does not have to listen to this co-worker.

He should speak to a supervisor and ask the supervisor for some help.

He can speak in English if he wants to or needs to do so.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks. That's what I thought.
Expert:  Debra replied 2 years ago.

You are very welcome.