Foreign Language Translation Services, Export Control and Employment Discrimination

Earlier we blogged about professional interpreting and translation services in the context of national origin discrimination of foreign language speakers.  Foreign language translator and interpreter services also come in handy when dealing with foreign nationals in the context of national security.  A dilemma often faced by universities and major research or engineering firms is when a foreign national is hired via the proper visa and does work under the auspices of a government grant. When doing such work, specific licenses are required according to the export control regulations of the United States – often as a result of security measures taken against particular nations.


As a result, that foreign national does not qualify for specific jobs within the university or firm. Since this job determination is strictly based on that individual’s national origin – the university or firm may face an employment discrimination claim as a result of following federal regulations.

One way to get around this seeming Catch-22 is to create an employee classification system that clearly identifies which employees have access to specific types of data. In creating such a classification system, it will be highly beneficial to have all details and signages clearly marked in English, and prepare the necessary foreign language translations. The result will be that no employee will be denied a job due to national origin, just certain aspects of a particular job.

Up Next: Foreign Language Translation and Interpreting Experts, and Posthumous Personality Rights