Se Habla Espanol

Discussion in 'FedEx Discussions' started by RTURNSONLY, May 16, 2013.

  1. RTURNSONLY

    RTURNSONLY Member

    Two CSAs at my station just got today a 3-day suspension (without pay) from their newly-hired manager for speaking Spanish while on their un-paid breaks. Both CSAs are completely bilingual and have used Spanish to communicate among themselves for many years. I like to know what ya'll think. Is this action legal, fair and justified or just plain discrimination? Isn't this type of action by a manager a clear violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a rule that prohibits discrimination against workers based on their national origin, among other factors? More importantly, does FedEx has a blanket "English-only" policy, at least in the U.S.?

    Their manager alleges that they can speak Spanish only to customers conducting business at FedEx, but not among themselves while on FedEx property and in any capacity, (breaks, personal phones calls, etc.). Personally, I think that's pushing the envelope and definitely a double standard. You're a valuable employee for one thing, but not for another. I think that, as long as you are not in a security-sensitive position, and it been business necessity, you should be allowed to speak your native language as long as you are not interrupting other employees course of business. This as a matter of respect and good manners to those co-workers. What I've noticed is that the majority of Spanish-speaking people tend to speak loud, almost like screaming, and that incommodes other people around them because they can't understand what is being said. Others, take it more personally and feel they are talking or gossiping about them. What's your opinion?
     
  2. MAKAVELI

    MAKAVELI Well-Known Member

    I think it's going to be a big payday for them if they pursue it.
     
  3. hypo hanna

    hypo hanna Well-Known Member

    I've never heard of such a thing. I would get a lawyer and start thinking about how I'm going to spend that windfall!
     
  4. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    My opinion is that they need to see a lawyer. Typical FedEx...OK to speak Spanish when it suits THEM.
     
  5. Operational needs

    Operational needs Well-Known Member

    While I think it is totally rude for anyone from another country to speak in their native tongue in a room of American, English speakers, if I were these people, FedEx would never get anymore free translating services from me. And I would sue. Doesn't sound legal to me.
     
  6. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    Great point. I would also refuse to speak Spanish for FedEx. Hopefully they pursue this.
     
  7. vantexan

    vantexan Well-Known Member

    I doubt if they're from another country. I've worked in stations that were mostly Hispanic Americans and coworkers spoke Spanish all the time. Sounds to me like mgr stepped in it with that one. If FedEx has no policy regarding speaking in another language while on break, or even amongst themselves while on the clock, then the mgr is either racist or paranoid.
     
  8. Nolimitz

    Nolimitz Active Member

    ChaChing! It's payday baby....
     
  9. hypo hanna

    hypo hanna Well-Known Member

    I'd go with just plain stupid. Either way they should pursue it. Best chance they will ever have of getting compensated by FedEx.
     
  10. vantexan

    vantexan Well-Known Member

    When I was in 6th Grade I took Spanish for an elective. The one line I remember is "El burro sabe mas que tu" or "The donkey is smarter than you!" One of those sentences that has most of the sounds of a language. About 19 years ago I was working in a station where the Hispanic employees would often speak Spanish to each other to keep us Anglos from knowing what was being said. One day I told two CSA's that they needed to be careful because I was picking up on alot of what they were saying. One challenged me to say what I heard and I spoke, in perfect Spanish, the above line. Their jaws dropped and no one spoke Spanish in front of me anymore. Even rolled my r, LOL! Got alot of funny looks as if they wondered if I knew what they had been saying about me. I never found Mexican Americans to be near screaming, just that they talk fast(which they say we Anglos speak English too fast also).
     
  11. vantexan

    vantexan Well-Known Member

    Definitely stupid and about the only way to get compensated by FedEx is to catch them with their pants down. Can't believe the mgr didn't run it by someone first though. Funny thing is they probably never said anything as bad about that mgr as we say in English on this forum!
     
  12. Cactus

    Cactus Just telling it like it is

    The new manager was clearly abusing his power. Hopefully this incident will clip his wings real good when the lawsuit commences.
     
  13. MAKAVELI

    MAKAVELI Well-Known Member

    I'm guessing if there is a lawsuit that manager will not be working at FedEx very long.
     
  14. Maui

    Maui Member

    Wow. The suspension letter should have been submitted to HR for review. This appears to be discipline. An unpaid suspension is disciplinary and nature and HR ALWAYS has to give their stamp of approval or the Manager could get his/her own letter for leadership failure. Exposing FedEx to this type of liability is never a good thing.

    I wonder too if the whole story is being told. Is there off color language that violates Acceptable Conduct? Management can not talk about discipline for other employees, so if the Manager did there is another problem. If they did nothing wrong I would also attempt to find a lawyer. GFT could clear the letter and get backpay, but would also require giving a ton of info to HR and upper management.
     
  15. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    Go for the lawsuit. Unless the manager in question understands Spanish, he isn't going to know what they said anyway. I highly suspect that FedEx wishes that they would just file a GFT and be reimbursed. As others have said, "Why is it that FedEx gets sued so often?" Where there's smoke, there is fire.
     
  16. hypo hanna

    hypo hanna Well-Known Member

    A primary purpose of the guaranteed fair treatment process is to diffuse complaints that should be lawsuits. Give the employee back pay and maybe a half ass apology and sweep it under the rug. Much cheaper then litigation.
     
  17. RTURNSONLY

    RTURNSONLY Member

    Actually, the manager doesn't knows Spanish, so I doubt very much boss understood what the conversation was about. For what I can gather, the suspension came about for simply speaking Spanish, not for what actually was said. Both suspended employees are confirming they'll pursue the case. It's gonna get interesting.
     
  18. Two op- co.'s and three facilities and four buildings. Spanish in at least 3 buildings, 3 facilities and 2 op- co.'s The Manager very much over stepped his bounds IMO. Personal power, he's an a-hole; position power he F'd up!
     
  19. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    I hope the employees in question walk away with a wad of Fred's money.
     
  20. hypo hanna

    hypo hanna Well-Known Member

    Go to the gft meeting. Say nothing then go through with the lawsuit.