Does discrimination go both ways?

Recently at my job, A number of Hispanic workers have been hired. We have been advised by supervisors not to refer to them as Mexicans, Guatamalans, etc., because we can be fired for discrimination. We were told that they CAN refer to us as Americans. I do not see the difference. Doesn't discrimination go both ways? We were also told it would be in our best interest to learn to speak Spanish.

1 answer  |  asked Apr 15, 2005 7:22 PM [EST]  |  applies to Alabama

Answers (1)

Henry F. (Hank) Sherrod III
discrimination both ways

I think the concern here of your employer may be that your use of different terms may be construed as derogatory or intended to express a less-than-friendly attitude. Discrimination does go both ways. Employers generally can't base employment decisions on race, national origin, etc. But it sounds more like your employer is concerned about non-Hispanic employees discriminating against Hispanic than the other way around, which I believe is probably wise. If you are American you are not likely to be referred to as American in any derogatory way. I am not sure the reverse is true. Good luck.


Henry F. Sherrod III
Henry F. Sherrod III, P.C.
P.O. Box 606
Florence, AL 35631-0606
Phone: 256-764-4141
Toll free: 888-764-4141
Toll free fax: 877-684-0802

Go to to support fair workplace polices and practices and for information about worker rights.

posted by Henry F. (Hank) Sherrod III  |  Apr 16, 2005 09:52 AM [EST]

Answer This Question

Sign In to Answer this Question

Related Questions with Answers

Have an Employment Law question?