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I can't believe a Spanish speaking woman is suing a school because she can't speak or read English....and yes I am serious..

It’s come to this: an Hispanic custodian at Denver’s Auraria Campus is suing the school because she doesn't speak English. The school, you see, does business in English and this illegal thinks that is wrong.

The immigrant, Bertha Ribota, claims that because she neither speaks nor reads English she injured herself because she couldn't read warning notices posted at work. She and several of her non-English speaking co-workers claim they are being “discriminated” against because they haven't bothered to learn our language. 

“Too many things have happened to me there that I don't even know how to explain it,” Ribota whined. “If I could speak English I wouldn’t have the problems that exist,” she said.

During the first week of May, 12 non-English speaking workers filed suit with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission claiming that Auraria Higher Education Center was discriminatory for expecting them to read and fluently speak English.

The worker’s ambulance-chasing attorney, Tim Markham, told the media, “What is sort of a neutral business practice, that they speak English on campus and it’s an English-only campus has a discriminatory impact on this group of workers.”

Markham claimed the school was “purposefully” keeping Hispanic workers in the dark about work issues.


 Learning English might fix that problem, of course, but let’s not go there, eh?  This stuff lately has me wishing I hads lots and lots of money and buy a Island...Anyone wish to join me?? How does any of that with  Bertha Ribota be discrimination? As far as I am concerned, learn the fucking language! But odds are they will win...The school hired them...they didn't take extra concern for the poor Spansh speaking people. 

If a American took a job in a different country, they would have to speak the language, and can't sue because we can't speak, French, German, Spanish, etc...

What are your thoughts?

Answer Question

Asked by Michigan-Mom74 at 1:56 AM on May. 16, 2013 in Politics & Current Events

Level 34 (66,351 Credits)
Answers (25)
  • PartyGalAnne

    Answer by PartyGalAnne at 2:05 AM on May. 16, 2013

  • Where does the "illegal" information come from? I've been looking at other accounts and immigration status isn't mentioned.

    I don't think suing is right. But I also know my grandmother was one of many Italian immigrants who didn't learn English for many years after coming to the US; even after 40 years she had lots of trouble with the language.

    Answer by gdiamante at 2:14 AM on May. 16, 2013

  • Oh... and my grandmother worked in a garment factory. Lots of Italian ladies doing piecework, and they weren't expected to speak English back then.

    Answer by gdiamante at 2:15 AM on May. 16, 2013

  • gdiamante...Sorry that was meant to say "legal" not illegal

    Comment by Michigan-Mom74 (original poster) at 3:01 AM on May. 16, 2013

  • What I do not understand is that her and the others have been there for a few years, so why is she suddenly saying she got injured now? She never had any interest in learning the language but now sees the chance to cash in. How can she drive, if all the signs are in English? That is if she drives. So maybe she carpools with the others she works with, but if thats the case, it means at least 1 worker speaks English, and that would not look too good for her lawsuit,.

    Comment by Michigan-Mom74 (original poster) at 3:11 AM on May. 16, 2013

  • How did she get hired if she doesn't speak English?

    Answer by butterflyblue19 at 7:18 AM on May. 16, 2013

  • "If I could speak English, I wouldn't have these problems that exist."

    Then why not learn English? I'll admit, English is my first language as an American, but it doesn't seem to me that it would be all that hard to learn. I kind of feel this one isn't so much about immigration or learning English, but about personal responsibility. She needs to take responsibility for herself, her life and her situation. She knows she can't read/speak/write English, and can see clearly that it is causing her problems. Instead of suing, she needs to take responsibility and learn English to solve some of these problems. Once she learns English, then if she discovers that the problems still exist, she needs to evaluate and determine if there's something more she can do to fix them or if it truly is someone else's fault.

    Answer by wendythewriter at 7:45 AM on May. 16, 2013

  • Wendy ... I agree.

    Answer by SpiritedWitch at 8:44 AM on May. 16, 2013

  • I live in Ohio and even here, with a very small number of Spanish speaking people, compared to like LA or someplace with a larger Hispanic population, most of our stores, schools etc have signs and notices in both English and Spanish, wet floor signs do, notices on bulletin boards, it's just common practice, so what is the issue with this school? I feel that they should invest in some Spanish signs and help these women out. It won't hurt anything. My niece married a Hispanic man that barely speaks English and when I go to their home I have to talk to him in Spanish or he won't understand me.

    Answer by AnonNdrag at 8:47 AM on May. 16, 2013

  • I do believe as a employer to meet safety needs of your employees. Which means if you hire an individual it is your responsibility to make sure they can read policy manuals in whatever language they speak, have signs clearly posted they can read, and someone available to address concerns and provided accurate information in that employee's language of orgin or language that person understands. I find it irresponsible and unethical to hire what most consider to be cheap labor and then to add insult to injury not provide basic safeguards for them. I would be open as a juror to hearing why the employer didn't think it was necessary to ensure the safety of all their employees.

    Answer by frogdawg at 8:48 AM on May. 16, 2013

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