The Employee Affairs Subcommittee of the Tennessee House of Representatives voted 5-0 today to approve H.B. 480 and send it to the full committee for consideration. This legislation, which would clarify that employees have the right to maintain English-in-the-Workplace policies, was passed unanimously by the Senate last month. H.B. 480 will next be heard in the full Committee on Consumer and Employee Affairs.

Policies that require employees to speak English on the job ensure safety, foster communication, improve morale, and improve customer service. Properly tailored guidelines apply only to occasions where the employee is actively engaged in work, and not to work breaks, lunchrooms and personal time.

According to a Nov. 2007 poll by Rasmussen Reports, 77 percent of Americans believe that a company should be allowed to require its employees to speak English while on the job. During the 110th Congress, both the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate approved measures that would have withheld funds from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for prosecuting employers who have English-in-the-Workplace policies.

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U.S. English, Inc. is the nation's oldest and largest non-partisan citizens' action group dedicated to preserving the unifying role of the English language in the United States. Founded in 1983 by the late Sen. S.I. Hayakawa of California, U.S. English, Inc. ( www.usenglish.org ) now has more than 2 million members.