Tennessee has problems. The state ranks fourth worst in the nation for adult hypertension and adolescent obesity. Nashville is still trying to recover from the devastating floods that caused over $1 billion in damage and killed more than 30 people. And to top it off, we were recently ranked as the No. 1 most corrupt state in the union.
But what are our lawmakers worried about? Not our health. Not rebuilding our capital city. Certainly not our schools.
Nope, our lawmakers are busy making “important” laws, such as bills SB2753/HB2685, which would let companies require that their employees speak English.
Typical right-wing politics, pandering to the loud vocal majority instead of concentrating on issues that could make a difference.
This is a nonsensical, unneeded law. If you want your employees to speak English, then why are you hiring people who don’t speak English? And if you didn’t do the hiring and find out one of your employees can’t speak English, then let that employee go. Not the ethical thing to do, to be sure, but if you’re that concerned about the language barrier and employee safety, fire them. Tennessee is a right-to-work state. You don’t need a reason to fire them.
Just what is this law supposed to accomplish? Once passed, do employers magically expect their non-English-speaking employees to suddenly speak “American”? I’ve said it before, but some people apparently have a hard time realizing that learning a new language is not instant potatoes. A non-English speaker may have the desire to learn English, but it takes time.
But that doesn’t really matter. Again I ask, why are you hiring non-English speakers if you want your employees to speak English?
So while the legislature tackles such hard issues as language in the workplace, guns in bars and banning sex toys, Tennesseans are still trying to find jobs, educate their kids, clean up flood damage and hope they don’t get sick along the way.
Stay classy, Tennessee.