A Whole Foods Market in New Mexico is in the news for suspending two employees for allegedly speaking Spanish while they were on duty.
Bryan Baldizan says he and female employee were only speaking in Spanish regarding personal matters. They wrote a letter expressing their disagreement with the policy.
Whole Foods officials doubled down on the policy, and suspended them.
Ben Friedland, Whole Foods Market Rocky Mountain Region Executive Marketing Coordinator, said the Austin, Texas-based company believes in “having a uniform form of communication” for a safe working environment.
“Therefore, our policy states that all English speaking Team Members must speak English to customers and other Team Members while on the clock,” Friedland said in a statement. “Team Members are free to speak any language they would like during their breaks, meal periods and before and after work.”
Friedland said the policy doesn’t prevent employees from speaking Spanish to customers who don’t speak English nor does it prevent them from speaking Spanish if all “parties present agree that a different language is their preferred form of communication.”
Whole Foods Market spokeswoman Libba Letton told the AP that in addition to safety reasons, the policy is in place so employees who don’t speak Spanish don’t feel uncomfortable.
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Should the employees have been suspended?
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