Whole Foods responds to ‘English-only’ flap

Faced with boycotts, the grocer issues a bilingual statement denying reports that it suspended workers for speaking Spanish on the job.

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Whole Foods spokeswoman Libba Letton has denied their claim, saying instead that the employees were suspended for being “rude and disrespectful.” However, in a statement to the Associated Press, Ben Friedland, Whole Foods Market Rocky Mountain Region executive marketing coordinator basically said it’s company policy to have workers speak English during work hours, saying the company supports “having a uniform form of communication.”

The company posted the following bilingual statement on their website:

“Our policy is that the default language is English, for consistent communication, inclusion, and especially for safety and emergency situations. We want our team members to use their judgment about when it’s appropriate to speak other languages. We are proud of our multilingual team members and try to work with customers in other languages whenever needed!

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