Bloomberg Law
Oct. 9, 2020, 10:04 AM

Language Barriers Pose Worker Rights Pitfalls During Pandemic

Fatima Hussein
Fatima Hussein
Legal Reporter
Genevieve Douglas
Genevieve Douglas

Immigrant workers’ exclusion from critical discussions because they’re not conversant in English is again at the forefront of food industry concerns as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and employers that must comply with its rules, face greater public scrutiny during the coronavirus pandemic.

Though language barriers have long been an issue in workplaces where mono-lingual non-English speakers are numerous, new coronavirus protocols mean that workers face greater risk of infection if they aren’t trained properly, and companies that don’t ensure comprehension could face litigation.

The issue arose most recently in an employment discrimination complaint filed Sept. 28 at the ...

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