Legal Interpreting Services to Prevent Workplace Bullying
We’ve blogged about certified legal interpreting experts and certified corporate translation professionals in cross-cultural depositions in employment discrimination cases, as well the cases alleging discrimination on the basis on national origin. Recent surveys have shown that between 16 and 21 percent of all employees directly experience health-endangering workplace bullying, abuse and harassment. Furthermore, and perhaps surprisingly, this behavior is four times more prevalent than sexual harassment. In today’s multi-lingual and ethnically diverse workplace settings, this bullying will often be against employees who do not speak English or who are from a different cultural background.
Regardless of who the target of the bullying is, the victim is likely to experience such effects as humiliation, stress, loss of sleep,
anxiety, depression and even post-traumatic stress disorder.
Unfortunately, the American legal system lacks a cohesive anti-bullying law. However, if the bullying is based on a protected class (race, color, sex, national origin) legal recourse is available.
However, when bullying occurs because of language or cultural differences, these cases may slip through the cracks. Thus, one turns to the European system, which has a strong Anti-Bullying law in place. Using the European law as an example, the US should adopt its emphasis on alternative dispute resolution. The advantage of such an approach is it allows all the parties to sit down together and try to resolve their differences in non-confrontational setting.
Through the use of foreign language translators and human translations, both sides might be able to get beyond the prejudices causing the problem and, at the very least, be able to get along as co-employees. Needless to say, professional corporate translation and interpreting services, provided by our legal translation center, will be highly advantageous to the employer and to employer defense attorneys.
To read our legal translation blog post “Language Translation, Language Interpreting and Duty of Care to Non-English Speakers”, click here.