Language Discrimination

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about being ordered not to speak in Spanish during breaks.

I am a Medical Assistant Instructor; I do my classes in English but during my break sometimes like to speak in Spanish. My coordinator said that I am not to talk Spanish during my break because some students don’t like that. I feel that this is discrimination.

Signed, Only In English

Dear Only In English:

You are hired to instruct in English, and are you not are still employed during breaks? Therefore, if your coordinator tells you to not speak Spanish during that time, that is not discrimination. It’s just a judgmental decision meant to not distract from the impression your employer wants to convey. If I were managing a school that provides medical assistant training, I would not make such a rule. Rather I would tell students that to be bilingual is an asset and that they would benefit from learning a second language, if they didn’t know one already.

However, possibly this matter is peculiar to your local situation; and your employer has a good reason to make this rule. One reason might be to improve your own English in informal situations. I say this because the paragraph you sent us contained a number of errors and I edited it, hoping not to destroy or change your meaning. Don’t allow yourself to think you are a victim or to see your coordinator out to get you. Just be the best possible instructor.

Be an instructor who adds value to your school. Be professional. Be a cheerleader of your coordinator, coworkers and students. Does this make sense? Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS. In short, you are there to think and act in ways that are good for all concerned.

William Gorden