Florida health care workers allege government clinic forced them to speak only English

A group of Puerto Rican health care workers at a Florida government-run clinic reportedly said supervisors threatened that if they spoke Spanish among themselves, they would be fired.

Seven women at the Haines City, Fla., health clinic, run by the Florida Health Department, filed a complaint with human resources and penned a letter to the state-level department, The Associated Press reports.

The job allegedly required workers to be bilingual so they could serve Spanish-speaking patients, the AP reports.

One nurse at the clinic, Mairyli Miranda, reportedly said she and her coworkers used English to talk to non-Spanish-speaking patients and staff members but used Spanish, their native language, when just talking among themselves.

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The Florida Health Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.

The AP notes that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says English-only workplace rules could violate federal laws except when “justified by business necessity.”

Nearly 40 percent of Latinos polled in a 2018 Pew Research Center study reported being discriminated against for their background, such as being called offensive names or criticized for speaking Spanish in public.

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