Can you imagine being banned from speaking English to a colleague in the workplace? Well in New Mexico, two Spanish workers are claiming Whole Foods Market banned them from speaking their mother tongue creating a major headache for the American chain.
However, as this ABC news report ‘Whole Foods Says It Does Not Forbid Employees From Speaking Foreign Languages’ reveals there are two sides to the story and actually it seemingly comes down to the Spanish workers misunderstanding instruction during a team meeting and they believed they had been banned from speaking Spanish.
Naturally they reacted and this led to them being suspended and pressure groups have become involved and it is on the national news and created uproar on social media and now is being blogged about internationally here on The VICI Language Academy website.
For us ‘El Diablo’ is in the detail – whether or not there is a policy banning foreign languages is a matter for the company and compliance with local and Federal law, however the fact this came about during a team meeting where the workers misunderstood the message is what intrigues us.
This kind of misunderstanding or miscommunication is often why businesses first contact The VICI Language Academy and we have blogged before asking Do your boardroom nuances get lost in translation and while that can lead to cultural calamity imagine if a team is less than familiar with the health and safety rules governing a workplace? We’ve blogged about that too here: Are you sticking plasters?
So before you are accused of banning a language in the workplace contact The VICI Language Academy to discover how we can help you and your team learn a common language for the workplace.