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Question for you guys

I found out today that Houston has a policy of paying bilingual workers (whether or not they have contact with the public) more money than non bilingual. Right now some want to end this policy because Houston has a huge deficit and they have to cut.
I don't think so, but is it harder to speak Spanish or Mandarin or Korean? I don't agree with the policy and feel it is discriminatory towards those who are not bilingual.
How do you feel about a policy like this? Does anyone know if their city does this?

Answer Question

Asked by itsmesteph11 at 6:10 PM on Jun. 22, 2010 in Politics & Current Events

Level 39 (113,405 Credits)
Answers (20)
  • Well being bilingual allows them to help twice as many people,so I think this is justified. In my city this isn't an issue. 85% of the people are caucasian and English speaking,the other being a mix of English speaking black,Hmong,and Hispanic,and a small group of Spanish speaking Hispanics,and Hmong speakers.

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:14 PM on Jun. 22, 2010

  • LOLOL Spanish is one of the easiest languages to learn, even easier than English! If those people are doing the same job, whether they are doing it in English or Spanish, or even Croatian, they should be paid the same!

    Answer by 29again at 6:23 PM on Jun. 22, 2010

  • Being an employee who speaks more than one language is very valuable to companies. It has been that way for decades. They should be rewarded for their abilities to contribute to the company. . You are not unusual ---nothing special--- if you only speak one language.
    It looks like you are even biased against any other languages besides English. Too bad....

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:51 PM on Jun. 22, 2010

  • Well being bilingual allows them to help twice as many people
    How so? If it takes 5 min to answer a question, regardless of the language, you can still only help 12 people in an hour. Being bi-lingual means you can speak more than one language. In times of economic pressure, I would think that this is one area that could safely handle some spending cuts. And that is just simple economics, not racism or any kind of bias. Just economics. Sad that you would rather have a broke city than an efficient one.

    Answer by 29again at 6:59 PM on Jun. 22, 2010

  • Some companies only hire bilingual but I have not heard whether they actually make more money because of it. It's hard to prove. However, I personally would expect to be compensated for speaking languages other than English, whether that foreign language was easy to learn or not. In my eyes the more you know, the more you deserve to ask in salary.

    Answer by parrishsky at 7:10 PM on Jun. 22, 2010

  • The state pf California does it as does many companies in California... the company I work for which is a huge nationwide company pays an incentive for bilingual... okay lets be honest here, when we're saying bilingual we're talking about only one langugage (Spanish)...but yes it does happen in other states and cities especially those with a large non-english-speaking population.. California, Texas, Arizona, etc. etc. etc.

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:19 PM on Jun. 22, 2010

  • well, its good advertising for companies to say that they can cater to many different languages... how many times have you seen company signs that say "se habla espanol"? Its an asset to the company yes... should you get paid for being bi-lingual? if the company can afford it, yes. If not, maybe some other, non-monetary perk. Being bi-lingual makes you a highly desirable and competitive in a tough economy

    Answer by elizabiza at 7:22 PM on Jun. 22, 2010

  • It's great if you are bi-lingual. However, in my area, where I live, there is no need for Spanish, French, or any Romance language. The only foreign language with any kind of need is Japanese, due to the Honda plant. But, there is nowhere to learn Japanese. I think that if the city finances can't handle paying extra for being bi-lingual, then the city needs to rework their contracts, and get creative until things are better. As for myself, I speak French quite well, but I don't get paid extra simply because I can speak another language, especially if there is no need for it. And I believe that if people who speak only Spanish want to come here to live, they need to learn English, or bring a translator with them if they aren't that fluent in English. I made the effort to learn French when I went to France. To me, it is a matter of respect, to learn the language of the country you are in.

    Answer by 29again at 7:46 PM on Jun. 22, 2010

  • It is legal, sort of like being able to give a raise for someone that knows how to code in a specific "computer" language.

    Answer by urkiddingright at 7:58 PM on Jun. 22, 2010

  • It's no more "discriminatory" than requiring a college degree, or paying degreed workers more. Learn a second language, it's a lot cheaper than college, and get a better paying job. And yeah, if it's Spanish, the second most spoken language after English, you will have a leg up in the job market. Why whine? I learned conversational (at least work conversational) Spanish from working in the hospitality industry. It has made me more competitive for jobs. Everyone in this country does not speak Enflish just because you wish it.

    Answer by stacymomof2 at 8:09 PM on Jun. 22, 2010

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