Skip to comments.Supercuts sued for ban on Spanish
Posted on 08/12/2005 6:25:58 AM PDT by jaydubya2
Some Chicago businesses post "Se Habla Espanol" signs to boast about their Spanish-speaking employees.
But two hair stylists said in a federal lawsuit Thursday that their former bosses at Supercuts posted a different sign:
"Speaking a language other than English is not only disrespectful, it's also prohibited."
Stylists say the notice was put up in 2003, directed at employees as Supercuts managers allegedly barred them from speaking Spanish anywhere at work -- including in the break room or other places outside the earshot of customers.
Supercuts says there is no such ban.
"We absolutely, vehemently deny the allegations and believe the evidence will show otherwise," attorney Davi Hirsch said Thursday.
EEOC on the case
The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which joined in the lawsuit, argues that such a ban is a violation of the 1964 Civil Rights Act that prohibits employment discrimination based on national origin.
The EEOC, along with private attorney Kamran Memon, brought the lawsuit against Primps LLC and Management Advantage Group LLC, which own more than 20 Supercuts salons in the city and suburbs.
One of the stylists, Rosa Gonzalez, 54, of Chicago, said her bosses shot her dirty looks or would reprimand her if she spoke Spanish to co-workers while on break, or at other times, even when customers weren't around.
The ban was lifted, she said, only if a customer didn't know any English.
"I think it's not fair," said Gonzalez, who came to the United States 27 years ago from Guanajuato, Mexico. "Business[es] need to understand that we are free to speak our language."
No such rule, company says
Memon said Gonzalez and another stylist who filed the lawsuit, Blanca Sauceda, were reprimanded sometimes several times a week for speaking in Spanish on breaks. The two worked for the company at various locations for more than 10 years.
They ultimately quit at their Michigan Avenue location after they felt uncomfortable at work.
Memon said the two wouldn't challenge a policy that limits Spanish being spoken in front of English-speaking customers. But Memon said Gonzalez and Sauceda were told it was "ignorant" and "disrespectful" to speak Spanish at work.
EEOC trial attorney Ann Henry said the suit was brought after managers allegedly enforced a blanket ban at "more than one location."
But Hirsch, who represents the 20 Supercuts owned by Management Advantage Group, said no such ban exists and that the suggestion of one is ludicrous because Supercuts' work force is heavily Hispanic.
Hirsch said there is a written policy limiting language other than English.
"The goal of the policy was to speak essentially whatever language you chose in the lunchroom or on breaks, when you're not servicing customers," Hirsch said.
Hirsch questioned why the employees didn't raise concerns until after they left the company.
Sounds reasonable..my hubby uses spanish alot in the ER
I live in an immigrant neighborhood these days ~ even have fellows here who carried rifles against the Russians as children/teenagers in the Afghan war.
Helps me understand some of the Revolutionary War soldiers in the line ~ they were young too ~ 13- 16 ~ young!
They can humble a man ~ as they did Washington at Valley Forge. I have learned a lot about our Founders by listening to current immigrants.
Point well taken. And I'm certain your courtesy goes a long way in wherever you go.
Again, welcome, and I hope you post more often!
You know, I love your post, especially this part:
"They can humble a man ~ as they did Washington at Valley Forge. I have learned a lot about our Founders by listening to current immigrants."
I remember on September 12, 2001, I (like the rest of the country) spent the entire day watching the news. For lunch, I ran across the street to a sandwhich shop to get a quick bite...I chose the restaurant because they have a TV, and I knew everyone would be watching it...
The woman who makes the sandwiches is a hispanic immigrant (probably illegal). She brings her daughter (about 12) to work to translate for her...don't know what I was doing when I was 12, but it sure as hell wasn't going to work with my mom...The kid is about as American as a little kid can get...
Anyway, the woman was crying...I asked the little girl what was wrong...her answer "Momma doesn't understand why anyone would want to hurt this country...it is so kind to everyone."
So, I always think of her when these "immigrants don't assimilate" threads pop up. I know the truth...
I know a grown woman who has lived here for 27 years, and cannot speak conversational English at all.
And she finds that she doesn't need to.
She is the mother of a friend.
Many of my neighbors have been my neighbors for years, and still they don't speak a word of English.
It's very difficult communicating with them.
In places like Miami (the former) and LA (the latter), learning English is completely superfluous, and there are tons of people who do not assimilte. I don't know the exact percentage, but it is significant.
Pre Menstrual Princess Blues
Pre Menstrual Princess Blues
Pre Menstrual Princess Blues!!
Hey Charlie, give me a shot!
So what???...what do you think little Italy was like circa 1935? Here is a hint, if you spoke English, nobody would understand you.
You must not be reading the other posts...Someone who is from Mexico can live here for 27 years and not learn much English because they will always think of Mexico as their homeland...BIG DEAL...their kids and grandchildren will not feel this way...I guaran-damn-tee it. Most immigrant children (who have been here for any extended period of time) speak English, and that is a fact.
I'm not trying to be rude to you, but, in a social setting where what the girl is saying does not involve you it shouldn't matter what language she speaks. In fact, it might be rude for you to want to know what she is talking to her friend about. Saying "No telling what she was saying about us" is very egotistical. It's not always about you, you know?
I don't know if you are Catholic, but when Vatican II insisted on the New Order Mass being conducted in the vernacular instead of Latin, it somewhat disconnected and alienated much of the "Universal" church.
If someone from a visiting country came to Church, it was difficult for them to "worship" in the same way, as their fellow church-goers. In the Latin Mass, I could worship with German, Latino, Italian, Japanese...with anyone...because of the common language.
Many Catholics today still resent the change of that basic element (among other things...see the religion thread someday for that, LOL).
But the point is, if one can't communicate with each other, or understand each other, isolation and/or alienation arises. And as you can see, it can only get uglier from there.
Gotta run, have a great day.
Better question: Why would I care? This isn't Italy circa 1935.
Someone who is from Mexico can live here for 27 years and not learn much English because they will always think of Mexico as their homeland...BIG DEAL...
Why don't they stay in their homeland if they are so fond of the culture?
their kids and grandchildren will not feel this way...I guaran-damn-tee it. Most immigrant children (who have been here for any extended period of time) speak English, and that is a fact.
Oh goodness. If I had a dollar for every gangsta-mobile dirving by a 22 year old I've seen with a Mexican flag hanging off the window ....
"Oh goodness. If I had a dollar for every gangsta-mobile dirving by a 22 year old I've seen with a Mexican flag hanging off the window ...."
That, my friend, is borderline racist. I doubt you would say that to someone who has an Irish or Italian flag flying in the back of their truck (and I see those all the time where I live). Secondly, what on earth does a flag hanging out the back of a window have to do with whether the driver can speak English?
Face it, the demographics of this country are changing. If you don't like it, maybe YOU should move to Austrailia.
I'd hope every competitor in my business field posts this sign so I can retire before I'm 30.
That's exactly what I was thinking.
I've got news for you. The vast majority of Americans don't like it, and want our immigration laws enforced.
I want them enforced to...guess what chance we have of that happening?
Given the current fact that hispanics have more children anyway, it is only a matter of time...I am quite comfortable with this...it seems some others are not.
Then you shouldn't cry "racism" and tell people who object to floods of illegals from Mexico to "move to Australia"...
Yawn. I'm a person who doesn't care if he is called "racist". Everybody is racist. What's your point?
I doubt you would say that to someone who has an Irish or Italian flag flying in the back of their truck (and I see those all the time where I live).
If they were here illegally and refused to learn English I most certainly would.
Secondly, what on earth does a flag hanging out the back of a window have to do with whether the driver can speak English?
You said that the younger culture didn't feel that Mexico was their motherland. If that was true, why would they fly a Mexican flag in the U.S.?
Although to their credit, after 9/11, I saw several of them who had attached a little U.S. flag under the giant Mexican flag.
I guess that's "sort of" assimilating.
Ooohh, oooh look at me, I don't care if I'm called a racist!
Lol...what a simpleton.
I think it's funny you don't like the flags...some guy driving down the street, blasting his music on his way to work...and you on the corner steemed. I bet it burns you up...hah, hah, hah!
And to clarify, the younger culture that was born here will assimilate and learn English...if they are still proud of their heritage...why would you care?! Hah, hah, hah!!!
Where did I say anything in that post about illegals...you should learn how to read...