Employee 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.
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.