Woman Warned for Speaking Spanish at Work

Julie Kirchem and Kevin Boie, KDFW-TV (Dallas/Fort Worth), March 24, 2008

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Julie Rios said she has received verbal and written warnings for talking in her native language, even though, she said, she was not informed about the rule when she was hired.

Rios, who was hired by temp company CoWorx, has been working at a North Texas plant for 10 months. But in February, she was issued a written warning about speaking Spanish.

The memo issued by CoWorx read: “You are being issued your first written warning for not adhering to company policy by speaking English only when communicating with others on the production floor.”

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She said supervisors have been cracking down and told her she could not say “hola,” but “hi.”

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“Foxconn is a minority-owned international company with numerous locations throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia. Due to the extensive diversity of the company and the great plethora of languages spoken at our various global locations, it is necessary to ensure that business meetings are conducted in a consistent language to ensure solid communication between all parties and avoid any potential misunderstandings.”

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“I don’t think it’s right. I have the right to speak whatever language I want … They knew we were Mexicans,” [Rios] said. “They shouldn’t have hired Mexican people.”

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