52 Pinoys sue California hospital for singling them out in English-only rule

Fifty-two Pinoy workers at the Delano Regional Medical Center in California pressed charges against the hospital on Tuesday claiming that their employer required only Filipinos to speak Englis while their co-workers were allowed to speak Spanish and Hindi, reports the AP.

The group said they were warned against speaking in Tagalog in a special meeting held August 2006. Since then, their fellow workers have repeatedly told them to speak only in English, even during their breaks. "Even when we spoke English... people would come and approach us and tell us, ’English only,’" Elnora Cayme, a hospital employee from 1980 to 2008, told the AP.

"Under California law, employers may require workers to speak English if there is a business necessity," the AP reported, citing Julie Su, Asian Pacific American Legal Center litigation director.

According to the AP, the Filipino workers want to join a complaint filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC claimed the hospital in San Joaquin Valley, California singled out Pinoys for reprimands and pushed fellow staffers to report them. Anna Park, an EEOC regional lawyer, told the AP that there has been an increase in complaints related to discrimination based on national origin, especially in California’s central valley.

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