Senate Committee Passes Budget Amendment Barring EEOC From Litigating Against English-Only Rules

On June 28, the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies announced that it had approved Fiscal Year 2008 legislation that will provide $378 million to the EEOC, which is $49 million above FY 2007 and $50 million above the President’s budget request.

 

The Committee also narrowly passed an amendment by a 15 to 14 vote that would prevent the EEOC “from using any appropriated funds for the purpose of bring[ing] lawsuits against a company that requires its employees to speak English.”

 

At a Senate hearing in May, the sponsor of the amendment was highly critical of an EEOC lawsuit against the Salvation Army for allegedly discriminating against two Army employees in a Framingham, Massachusetts thrift store for requiring them to speak English on the job. He told Earp that “I find this to be an astonishing waste of your time and taxpayer money to…by your lawsuit…require every single employer in America to worry that they will face litigation if they require English to be spoken in the workplace.”

 

The EEOC’s policy on English-only rules is explained in detail on their website.

 

By Patricia Schaeffer, Vice President-Regulatory Affairs

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