Linguistic Human Rights
Today I came across some interesting online lecture notes by Professor Peter L Patrick of the Department of Language & Linguistics at the University of Essex. The lecture is entitled “Linguistic Human Rights: A Sociolinguistic Introduction” and covers many of the issues discussed in a recent post about language use in the work place.
There are a number of examples of people being fired for speaking Spanish in places of work with English-only rules. In many cases these people were hired because of their ability to speak Spanish and English. Their employers are effectively saying “You can speak your language when it suits me, but not when it suits you.” When cases of this kind go to court, judges often find in favour of the employers.