Translating Worker Safety Instructions for Foreign Workers
Legal translation services aimed at translating safety policy and instructions in the languages of non-English-speaking workers promote safety in the workplace.
Could a failure to translate Employment Contracts and Safety Policies and Procedures into the languages of foreign workers be tantamount to discrimination?
In an article written by an Irish solicitor, a Dublin-based company has been ordered to pay each foreign member of its staff €5,000.00 (totaling to €290,000) for failure to provide a foreign language translation of their work contracts and safety documentation to them. According to the findings, some foreign workers were treated less favorably than Irish employees and other foreign members who, on a seemingly selective basis, have received document translation of their employment contracts and safety procedures. Because not everyone was accorded the same opportunity, the complainants were disadvantaged in relation to their access to and understanding of such documents.
The chances for such an incident to erupt in U.S. are very high, considering that many immigrants on the job have different levels of English proficiency and need help with foreign language translations. The employers are at risk of becoming selective, should they choose to render translation services only to those they have thought would need it rather than all the non-English-speaking employees.
With the above, HR managers must ascertain that all foreign immigrants under their employ (without exception and regardless of race), have fully understood all items stipulated in their employment contracts, company policies and safety procedures. There is wisdom in tapping the services of a professional online foreign language translation company to avoid the same legal pitfalls as to have already happened in the case cited above.
To read our legal interpreting and translation blog entry “Professional Translation Services for Employer Defense Attorneys, Employer’s Vicarious Liability and Foreign Language Speakers”, click here. And to read our legal interpreter blog entry “Translations for Human Resources and Risk Management Departments, and Using Foreign Language Translations to Create Enforceable Employee Handbooks”, click here.