Disciplined for telling cubemates I felt excluded when they speak Spanish?

There are 3 of us working in cubicles in close proximity. My 2 coworkers are both bilingual, English and Spanish. I only speak English. I have been friends with one for more than 3 years, even attending her wedding,and the other for about a year. Recently they have been speaking to each other in Spanish when the 3 of us are there. After a few weeks I explained to them that this made me feel excluded. The one I have known longer agreed it was rude. The other one was clearly offended. I was called into HR today and disciplined for telling my coworkers I felt excluded. I understand that employer English only policies are problematic. Should I have been disciplined as an employee for telling my peers I felt excluded?

1 answer  |  asked Jun 20, 2017 6:55 PM [EST]  |  applies to New York

Answers (1)

V Jonas Urba
Does your employer have a policy on that?

Does your employer value teamwork and you as an employee?

The next time you are evaluated for performance make sure teamwork is not part of that evaluation.

Language is what makes us a united team. We should never prohibit any employee from speaking their native tongue (on their non work time unless that is an essential part of their job - for example, they work as a translator) but if your employer wants to permit exclusion then you will never be able to even be considered for promotion to a supervisory role. How could you supervise employees who could be mocking you to your face?

And would you want to stay employed with an employer who does not understand that teamwork is often the most important factor in any successful business? With that mindset they may not survive all together?

posted by V Jonas Urba  |  Jun 21, 2017 04:30 AM [EST]

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