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Ive worked for a Catering company for over a yr. Co. is

Ive worked for a...

Ive worked for a Catering company for over a yr. Co. is owned by a Caucasian gentlemen but his head guy, who's worked for him for 20 or so yrs, is Hispanic. Majority of employees are Hispanic. A number of those don't speak English. I am American Indian (tho I do appear Caucasian). Whenever we are given any orders, instructions or directions of any kind as a group they are said in Spanish only even though the person also speaks English. When I've asked for myself and others for things to be translated I am totally ignored.And NEVER told anything in English unless they are talking directly to YOU.

Lawyer's Assistant: Have you discussed this with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?

No Lawyer

Lawyer's Assistant: Are you an "at will" employee? Do you belong to a union?

No union Part time

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

Just wondering what if anything should i do. It makes working hard Ty

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Answered in 2 hours by:
3/24/2018
Attorney Wendy
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 531
Experience: Member at Keefer & Keefer LLC
Verified

Hello. My name is ***** ***** I am an attorney. I can only assume this must be incredibly frustrating. Depending on how many employees this catering company has, it may be subjected to a number of anti-discrimination statutes - both federal and state - that may prohibit this conduct. These statutes prohibit discrimination (actual job decisions) as well as the creation of a hostile work environment resulting from unwanted conduct that is directed at a person as a result of that person's race, national origin, gender, etc. and where the environment created is so severely and pervasively hostile that a reasonable person would consider it unreasonable to work under such conditions and it would impact the ability to work in that environment. The difficult part with your situation is that you may not technically be able to meet the severe and pervasive part of that legal test. That said, it could be said to be discriminatory not to provide instructions in the language of your employees, especially since that is the primary language of the area in which you work. The real issue is what to do about this situation. If the caterer has written policies providing a complaint procedure for such discrimination or harassment, you may consider filing such a complaint. If they do not have this type of policy or procedure, you can consider reporting this to the EEOC or the companion state agency to be investigated.

In workplace situations like this one, it is important to exhaust (use and follow) all options to resolve the issue within the company prior to a complaint being filed with an outside entity, but sometimes the employer does not address the issue and it sounds like those in charge may be part of the problem.

It sounds like there are others experiencing the same issue; so it may also be helpful to band together to meet with or complain to the employer.

I wish I could offer more concrete solutions, but I do hope this information helps. If you need further assistance, please reply to this email. If I answered your question and provided excellent service, I would greatly appreciate your 5 star rating at this time.

Please note: This information is for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No course of action is being proposed and no attorney-client relationship or privilege has been formed as a result of the conversation.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Most of the employees need this job so obviously they are afraid. It's hard to say how many employees there are but there are many. He also still has the original restaurant business which he has received multiple awards for. So he employs alot of part-time people because they're cheap & he doesn't have to offer any benefits. I don't kno if one has anything to do with the other but I have been employed part-time by Pardini's since Oct. 2015. But they have not offered me any work since June 2017. I have worked for Pardini's since then but only through a temp agency. At one time I was working 20-30hrs wk for someone else and Pardini's. When I questioned why they weren't offering me any work anymore they told me to just stick with the temp agency since my "schedule is so screwy". But never said anything about not being still employed by Pardini's. Never. I sent my supervisors at Pardini's an email notifying them that I was no longer employed and available for work at any time. Haven't heard or received anything from them. I've sent emails and/or text messages to my Supervisors each Monday, as instructed. I've received no response whatsoever. Last time I worked for them was March 5, 2017. Only because I went thru Labor Max Staffing. Told them I need to know what to put on my resume as for the "Reason for leaving" my previous job. Couldnt give me one. Am i being shit on needlessly? Is this considered fair employment?

Unfortunately, this is much more common than it should be and there isn't always a legal remedy for it - in large part due to the fear on the part of employees that speaking up will cost them their jobs. That said, since you have actually been sent to them through a staffing agency, you may bring it up with the staffing agency. If they do meet the minimum number of employees (50) - which is always hard to figure with a lot of part-time staff - the EEOC may be a good place to start. Certainly a refusal to provide job directions in English is an issue, though it is so unusual I couldn't find anything directly on it in terms of court cases. Filing with the EEOC though provides you protection from retaliation - under the law you cannot suffer an adverse employment action (refusal to hire, being terminated, demoted, denied a promotion) in retaliation for filing the claim, so the very fact of filing the claim may - in some circumstances - provide protection you may not otherwise have. That will start an agency investigation into your claims. The employer will know you filed them, but would have to have other reasons than that complaint to change your employment. Now, it is again hard in the food and beverage world - you will see a lot of recent lawsuits about tip sharing, management taking tips, etc. and similarly difficult issues surround scheduling - when someone is just not scheduled to work when they are part-time.

The other thing you may want to consider doing is looking for other employment to protect yourself from these conditions or from any failure to schedule you for shifts outside the staffing service while you consider filing a formal complaint outside the company.

It is an unfortunate fact that not all unfairness in the workplace is unlawful, but there are enough issues here to consider speaking with a local attorney or seeking the help of the EEOC or your state's human affairs/labor board.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Ok thank you for your help.

You are very welcome; let me know if you have any additional questions.

Attorney Wendy
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 531
Experience: Member at Keefer & Keefer LLC
Verified
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