Nursing home sued over English-only rule

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A California nursing home is being sued for allegedly discriminating against its Hispanic workers by prohibiting them from speaking Spanish on the job.

In the lawsuit the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says Royalwood Care Center, of Torrance, violated federal law when the facility fired a worker for speaking Spanish on the job and invoked the facility's English-only language rule. Several other Spanish-speaking workers at the facility also were reprimanded.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, asks the court to order reinstatement of the worker with back pay, and to award compensatory and punitive damages to all of the disciplined workers. In addition, the suit alleges that Royalwood showed bias by enforcing its English-only policy only with Hispanic employees but not with non-Hispanic workers who speak a language other than English.