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Injured Hispanic Custodian Sues School After Not Being Able to Read English Warning Sign

Posted by on May. 11, 2013 at 6:34 AM
  • 140 Replies


A group of Hispanic custodians at Denver’s Auraria Campus are suing their employer, claiming they are victims of discrimination. One of those custodians, Bertha Ribota, claims she was injured on the job as a result of not being able read a warning sign in English, CBS reports.

“Too many things have happened to me there that I don’t even know how to explain it,” said  Ribota.

“If I could speak English I wouldn’t have the problems that exist.”

CBS explains further:

The complaint accuses the campus of purposely keeping vital information from Hispanic employees pertaining to the terms and conditions of their employment, changes in work status, and, more pointedly, safety. They claim they are being excluded because the information is not being delivered in Spanish.

Last week 12 custodians from the Auraria Campus filed an EEOC complaint against the Auraria Higher Education Center, which is the organization that maintains the campus for Metro State University of Denver, the Community College of Denver and the University of Colorado Denver.

“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,” said attorney Tim Markham.

Campus spokesman Blaine Nickeson said in response: “I don’t know if that’s a problem. I think it’s one of the concerns. I will go on to say there’s not a statute to translate.”

Watch the interview here:

by on May. 11, 2013 at 6:34 AM
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Replies (1-10):
candlegal
by Judy on May. 11, 2013 at 9:32 AM

I am kind of curious if anyone thinks they should be accommodated or if they should just learn english

jessilin0113
by Platinum Member on May. 11, 2013 at 9:37 AM
9 moms liked this

I think if the school is going to hire Spanish-speaking workers, they should accomodate them.  If their language is a problem, then they should hire English speaking workers only.  I don't know if they can make that a condition of employment of if language is protected by equal opportunity.  I think the school probably failed in making it a safe work environment. 


jaxTheMomm
by Platinum Member on May. 11, 2013 at 9:37 AM
6 moms liked this

I'm wondering why they were hired if they can't communicate in English.


Quoting candlegal:

I am kind of curious if anyone thinks they should be accommodated or if they should just learn english



LauraKW
by "Dude!" on May. 11, 2013 at 9:40 AM
1 mom liked this
If the school hired them "as is" then the school is aware of their limitations. They have a very strong case.
hopealways4019
by Silver Member on May. 11, 2013 at 9:45 AM
Ok, so why work there? Was everything else translated to them, job description, work hours, benefits. Anyway its not a case of discrimination. Worker can claim worker compensation.
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talia-mom
by Gold Member on May. 11, 2013 at 9:45 AM

Come someone show me where they would be required to have all signs in another language?

JoshRachelsMAMA
by JRM on May. 11, 2013 at 9:45 AM
2 moms liked this
Learn English.

Quoting candlegal:

I am kind of curious if anyone thinks they should be accommodated or if they should just learn english

UpSheRises
by Platinum Member on May. 11, 2013 at 9:47 AM
6 moms liked this

If they are hiring people who don't speak english then they have an obligation to provide them with the tools to do thier jobs.

Even if the intention is that they learn english, if you've ever learned a foreign language you know it takes time. Seems to me like taking to 30 seconds to tape a sign to the wall would be worth the effort if it kept your employees safe.

I mean...i realize if you don't speak english in the country you're considered sub-human but even sun-humaniods need to be safe and healthy to do their work. 


Quoting candlegal:

I am kind of curious if anyone thinks they should be accommodated or if they should just learn english



jllcali
by LoyalAndCute on May. 11, 2013 at 9:48 AM
How were they injured?

JoshRachelsMAMA
by JRM on May. 11, 2013 at 9:48 AM
1 mom liked this
How are they aware? Is there a reading/writing test given to all employees? Employers do not nor are they required to know everything there is to know about their employees.

If she cannot read English, it's her own fault. ESL classes are free in many communities.


Quoting LauraKW:

If the school hired them "as is" then the school is aware of their limitations. They have a very strong case.
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