EEOC finds federal agency’s “English-only” policy unlawful. Complainant filed an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) complaint alleging employment discrimination and harassment. After the investigation,  Complainant requested a final agency decision (FDA). Agency issued a FAD finding the Complainant failed to prove her case as presented. Following the final decision, Complainant appealed to the EEOC’s Office of Federal Operations (OFO).

The OFO held that the Agency supervisor’s instruction that Complainant and her subordinates not speak Tagalog when discussing work topics was an English-only rule that was not justified by business necessity. The OFO explained that the Agency had provided no evidence to show that only speaking English was necessary for the safe of efficient operation of the Agency, and therefore the Agency was liable for discrimination. The OFO however also held that the Complainant failed to establish by a preponderance of the evidence that she was subjected to disparate treatment or a hostile work environment. The case was remanded for further proceedings.

Minda W. v. Dep’t of the Navy, EEOC Appeal No. 0120162040 (Apr. 24, 2018)

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