Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen has signed into law a bill that permits English-only policies in the workplace.
The law, which the governor signed last week, states that it is not discriminatory for an employer to institute a policy that requires all employees to speak only English “at certain times when the employer has a legitimate business necessity for such a policy, including but not limited to the safe and efficient operation of the employer’s business.”
The law also requires employers to provide notice to employees of the policy and the consequences of violating it. The law becomes effective immediately.
“After a thorough review of the legislation, the governor determined the English-only portion of the bill did not change Tennessee law,” the governor’s office said in a statement.
“The bill also includes unrelated employment protections for volunteer rescue squad workers, of which the governor was very supportive.”