- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 11, 2007

ATLANTA (AP) — Oglethorpe University agreed last week to settle a lawsuit filed by a Mexican-American advocacy group that claimed the school discriminated against Hispanic workers by requiring its employees speak English to supervisors and colleagues.

The Atlanta private university has agreed to pay more than $50,000 to settle claims filed by three Hispanic housekeepers in 2003 who claimed they were discriminated against because they couldn’t speak English.

In the settlement, the university also agreed to “affirm” its nondiscrimination policy, and the government found that the school had no language preference. The lawsuit by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) accused the school of requiring the housekeepers to learn English in 60 days or risk termination.

“The university firmly believes in maintaining a diverse campus and has never had a policy of mandatory English-language only,” said school spokeswoman Kelly Robinson. “Oglethorpe is pleased to agree to continue this policy and has added proactive policies to ensure that all members of its community continue to value this mission.”

MALDEF applauded the school’s “commitment to a workplace that is free from discrimination” and warned that it is on the lookout for similar cases.

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