employee handbook translationEmployee handbook translation is a win-win for firms and workers alike.

Employees are informed and safe when company policies are spelled out in their first language. But translation also helps firms. It fosters inclusion and reduces the risk of lawsuits.

Translating your handbook opens a door, giving your team access to key information. Employees can’t practice workplace safety, for example, if they can’t read the company manual.

Employee handbook translation services give your workers access to information in Spanish (or any other language).

The Costs of Discrimination

Discrimination costs both time and money. Hiscox, an insurer, reports that the average cost to defend and settle an employment lawsuit was $125,000. Firms spent over 9 months on average defending the suit.

In 2012, a group of California nurses who speak Tagalog sued over language discrimination. The defendant settled—for $975,000.

For the most part, U.S. law prevents an “English only” rule in the workplace. It’s allowed only if it’s necessary to the employer’s business.

But handbook translation isn’t just about following the law. It sends a key message, too.

By translating its manuals, a company is saying to its employees, “We respect you.”

And smart business owners know that inclusion works. According to the Center for American Progress, firms that don’t have inclusive workplaces see lower retention rates than those that value a diverse team. In short, a hostile work environment makes workers quit.

welder, employee handbook translation

Employee handbook translation lets you convey policies such as workplace safety to all members of your team.

What the Data Says

It’s common for U.S. firms to translate their employee handbook into Spanish. This is because it’s the second most spoken language in the country. (In fact, Spanish is used in about 13% of U.S. households).

In 2005, workers born outside the U.S. made up 14.8% of the labor force. But by 2014, that number was 16.5% (see chart). As the number of foreign-born workers goes up, the need for employee handbook translation also rises.

Many states in the U.S. are home to large Latino populations. For example, more than 35% of workers in California are Latino.

So it’s clear that companies have to meet the language needs of their employees. All workers should know what’s expected of them when it comes to workplace safety, employee conduct, and overtime. Having your handbook translated makes that possible.

Native-Born vs. Foreign-Born Workers in the U.S., 2014

employee handbook translation, pie graph

Data source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily

Employee Handbook Translation: FAQ

What are the costs?
We base our fee on the number of words in the text. This is because a document with 30,000 words takes more time to turn around than one with 10,000 words. Is the text complex? That may also affect the cost. The translation of employee handbooks for chemical companies, for example, may be more technical than one for grocery chains.

Does RedLine offer language variants?
Yes. We always ask our clients what variant of the language they need. (The Spanish spoken in Spain is not the same as that spoken in El Salvador.) For example, if your company has a lot of employees of Mexican origin, then we’ll work into Mexican Spanish.

What else should we translate?
Every company is different. But you may want to get quotes on safety manual translation, workplace safety posters, training manuals, and benefits brochures.

What else does RedLine do?
In addition to translation, formatting is available. Will your handbook be printed and passed out to employees? Will it be in digital format? Both? See our page on formatting services to learn more.