Tag Archives: Whole Foods Market

minorities

Language issues become workplace legal issues

Two Whole Foods grocery store employees in Albuquerque were recently suspended after getting in a dispute with their manager over speaking Spanish in the workplace.

That incident raises an employment law question that leaves many Arizona employers scratching their heads: Can employers require their employees to only speak English in the workplace?

The answer to that question, like the gray area that surrounds many legal questions, is “it depends.”

“While there is no specific law that requires a specific language in the workplace, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the Arizona Civil Rights Act prohibit discrimination based upon national origin and language is closely tied to national origin,” said Stephanie Quincy, a partner with Steptoe & Johnson LLP in Phoenix. “The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is a federal agency that enforces Title VII and the Arizona Civil Rights Division of the Arizona Attorney General’s Office enforces the Arizona Civil Rights Act.  Both agencies are very concerned that employers will enact language requirements not because of business necessity, but as a way of excluding certain nationalities from the workplace. The Phoenix office of the EEOC sued a restaurant located on the Navajo Nation for enacting an English-only policy, resulting in years of protracted litigation for the employer.”

That restaurant is not alone. The EEOC recently released figures on what kinds of employment discrimination cases are being brought to the agency and complaints of discrimination based on national origin, including those involving perceived problems with language ability or accent, have increased  77 percent since 1997. The EEOC has suggested that it might be the increasing diversity of the American workforce, but civil rights advocates think it’s more likely due to a climate of fear, particularly in states like Arizona that have been enacting laws hostile to immigrants, both legal and undocumented.

“Generally speaking, English-only rules are not in and of themselves unlawful,” said John Balitis, a director at Fennemore Craig who practices in the labor and employment area. “They are permissible when needed to promote the safe and efficient operation of the employer’s business.”

According to Joseph T. Clees, shareholder, and Alexandra J. Gill, associate, of Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, there are some circumstances where an English-only rule may be necessary to further a safety, efficiency or other legitimate business concern. The EEOC has provided examples of such circumstances including, communication with customers, employees or supervisors who only speak English; emergency situations; cooperative work assignments where the English-only rule is necessary for efficiency purposes; and to assist supervisors with monitoring of performance.

“This is an extremely high standard and very difficult to meet,” Quincy said. “Furthermore, some of these categories would only permit an English-only rule where the business necessity is present and would not support a rule completely prohibiting non-English languages completely.”
This is where that gray area comes into play when it comes to language in the workplace, experts said.

“If the employer cannot demonstrate that (speaking English) is a ‘business necessity,’ it cannot justify such a rule and could be subject to legal action by any employee who is affected by the policy,” Quincy said. “A policy does not have to be a formal written policy. A rogue supervisor can create a policy by simply telling employees speaking Spanish to quit doing so. Such a policy can almost never be supported when enforced on employee breaks or when employees are having non-work related discussions.”

Because the EEOC has taken the position that English-only policies can violate Title VII, Clees and Gill said employers adopting these policies can face a range of penalties under Title VII if the policy is found to be discriminatory.

“An individual alleging a violation of Title VII may seek to recover damages including back pay, front pay, compensatory damages, punitive damages, and attorneys’ fees,” they said. “Individuals may also request injunctive relief.”

Because of the potential backplash, Clees said employers should carefully analyze their reasoning for instituting an English-only policy prior to doing so.

“Employers should consider whether the policy has important safety justifications and/or business justifications, and whether instituting the policy would be effective in advancing the desired business purpose,” he said. “Employers should also consider whether there are any alternatives to an English-only policy that would accomplish the same goals. If an employer decides to an English-only policy is necessary, it should ensure that employees are clearly informed of the policy, including when and where it applies.”

While there is no precise test for weighing or evaluating the business reasons for a language policy in the workplace, Quincy said the EEOC suggests considering:
· Evidence of safety justifications for the rule.
· Evidence of other business justifications for the rule, such as supervision or effective communication with customers.
· Likely effectiveness of the rule in carrying out obectives.
· English proficiency of workers affected by the rule.

“Employers should only (implemented policies that either completely or partially prohibit the use of any language other than English) if they can articulate a business necessity for such policies,” said Charitie L. Hartsig, an associate at Ryley Carlock & Applewhite. “They should also clearly inform employees of the circumstances under which they will be required to speak only English and the consequences of violating the policy. Limited English-only policies have been allowed under Title VII where the policies are in place to ensure clear communications regarding the performance of dangerous and safety-sensitive tasks. The EEOC presumes that an employer that completely prohibits employees from speaking their native language disadvantages the employee’s employment opportunities on the basis of national origin under Title VII. However, the Ninth Circuit rejected the EEOC’s per se rule. Nevertheless, Arizona employers should be cautious about implementing English-only policies and do so only when there is a business necessity for doing so.”

Despite an employer’s best business intentions, experts said instituting a language policy in the workplace is most likely a powderkeg ready to explode.
“The EEOC presumes that English-only rules applied at all times are discriminatory,” Balitis said. “Because the EEOC looks with disfavor on English-only rules, an employer may be forced to litigate even the most carefully crafted rule.”

beauty feature

9 Eco-friendly Beauty Products

Ever since documentaries like Food Inc. or Forks Over Knives emerged, the shift toward organic and natural foods has swept the nation. But many of us are not aware that the natural movement has extended into the cosmetic and beauty industry.

Several companies are now formulating organic ingredients into their products and eliminating the chemical toxins. The beauty of this influx in healthy living is not only reflected through glowing skin and shiny hair, but also in the affordable price tags.

In honor of Earth Day, it’s time to consider some eco-friendly beauty products as alternatives to your department store foundation and overpriced salon shampoos that will not only have you feeling beautiful, but will please Mother Earth as well.

albaAlba Botanica® Even Advanced Sea Kelp Facial Toner

This hypoallergenic toner is ideal for re-balancing your skin after a long day. It uses a Marine Complex, which includes micronized kelp, balances out the pH levels in your skin and tones your complexion.

$10.99

Available at albabotanica.com or natural food stores, such as Whole Foods Market

 

cheekyCheeky Cosmetics Organic Lipstick

Cheeky Cosmetics crafts 100 percent handmade makeup from organic ingredients. It is not only affordable, but uses quality materials that create soft lips with a shimmery finish. The lipstick utilizes organic castor oil for shine and fullness and organic jojoba oil for moisture.

$20.00

Available at cheekycosmetics.ca

 

jason 2JĀSÖN® Volumizing Lavender Shampoo and Conditioner

Ideal for flat or oily hair, this shampoo uses lavender extract, sweet almond extract and wheat protein amino acids to fortify hair. It is paraben-free and does not contain any color-sucking sulfates.

$10.29

Available at Jason-Natural.com, natural food stores, such as Whole Foods Market, and ULTA Beauty

 

eoseos Lip Balm Smooth Sphere

This lip balm uses 95 percent organic ingredients and is free of petrolatum and parabens. The vitamin E and jojoba oil will leave your lips exceptionally smooth all day.

$3.29

Available on eos.com or in most drug or grocery stores

 

avalonAvalon Organics® Peppermint Hand & Body Lotion

Made with 70 percent organic ingredients and packaged in a 100 percent recycled materials bottle, this lotion sustainably moisturizes your skin. It is rich with aloe, peppermint essential oil and Beta-Glucan, a nutrient that comes from oats.

$12.00

Available at avalonorganics.com or natural food stores, such as Whole Foods Market.

 

mascaraPhysicians Formula Organic Wear 100% Natural Origin Jumbo Lash Mascara

This mascara not only maximizes volume but also nourishes lashes with moisturizing soy proteins. It is made of 70 percent organic ingredients.

$9.95

Available at physiciansformula.com or in most drug or grocery stores.

 

jasonJĀSÖN® Shave Therapy Anti-Razor Burn Lotion

There’s nothing worse than painful bumps and ingrown hairs brought on by razor burn, which is why JĀSÖN developed this lotion. It utilizes 95 percent natural soothing ingredients such as aloe vera and calendula, chamomile and primrose oils.

$8.49

Available at Jason-Natural.com, natural food stores, such as Whole Foods Market, and ULTA Beauty.

 

vapourVapour Beauty Atmosphere Soft Focus Foundation

This foundation is created from 70 percent organic ingredients and 30 percent natural mineral pigments and vitamins. It uses organic papaya and pumpkin to nourish your skin and has anti-inflammatory properties from frankincense and lotus flowers.

$48.00

Available at vapourbeauty.com.

 

organixOrganix Biotin & Collagen Collection

Organix has developed a line specifically for adding volume and dimension to hair. They use ProVitamin B7 biotin to pump up each strand. Every Organix shampoo and conditioner is paraben and sulfate-free.

All four products are $7.99 each

Available through cosmeticsolutions.biz, amazon.com or most drug and grocery stores.

freshfoods

7 Low-cal and Healthy Spring Recipes

It’s the perfect time of year to entertain friends and family while relaxing outdoors. Colorful, fresh, bright and airy represent spring in the Valley, and springtime recipes shouldn’t be any different.

For those keeping to a healthy, low-cal diet as well as those preparing for bikini season, there are plenty of springtime recipes to keep the pounds off and your taste buds pleased.

Whether you are spending the evening alone or with friends, the following low-cal cocktails and healthy small dishes are sure to be a hit.

LOW-CAL COCKTAILS

image001Privateer

  • 2 oz Hennessy VS
  • 3 oz Vita Coco Water
  • 3 Strawberries
  • .5 oz Fresh Squeezed lime juice
  • 1/3 oz Agave Nectar

Method: Muddle 3 strawberries in a shaker tin, add all liquids with ice and shake until well chilled. Strain into a Collins glass with fresh ice and garnish with a strawberry on the rim.

image004Spring Bee

  • 1.5 oz Hennessy VS
  • 1/3rd oz Aperol
  • 1 oz Light Honey Chamomile Syrup
  • 1 oz Fresh Squeezed grapefruit juice
  • 1 dash Fee brothers grapefruit bitters (optional)

Method: Add all liquids to a shaker tin with ice and shake until well chilled. Strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice, garnish with a twist of grapefruit.

VOLISkinny Breeze

  • 1 ½ oz Voli Mango Coconut
  • 2 oz Diet Cranberry Juice
  • 1 oz Light OJ
Lime Squeeze

Method: Build all Ingredients over ice in a rocks glass and garnish with a lime twist.

 HEALTHY SMALL DISHES & DESSERT

2673Spring Salad with Strawberries and Creamy Orange-Avocado Dressing

  • 3 green onions, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 avocado, peeled and pitted
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 ounces spring greens or mesclun mix
  • 1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
  • 1/2 pound asparagus, trimmed and sliced into strips with a vegetable peeler

Method: Puree green onions, avocado, juice, salt and pepper in a blender or food processor until smooth to make a dressing. In a large bowl, toss greens, strawberries and asparagus together. Transfer to plates, drizzle with half the dressing and serve. Extra dressing will keep one day refrigerated.

Recipe and image from wholefoodsmarket.com

2961Steamed Artichokes with Creamy Walnut Dip

  • 1 lemon, Juice of
  • 4 large artichokes
  • 1 cup toasted walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

Method: Fill a large bowl with water and lemon juice. Stir well. Cut stems from artichokes to sit flat on your work surface. Peel stems with a paring knife. Transfer artichokes and stems to bowl with lemon water. Working with one artichoke at a time, carefully use a serrated knife to cut off the top third, then use scissors to clip off and discard sharp leaf points, returning each artichoke to the lemon water as you finish.

Fill a large pot with water to a depth of 1 to 2 inches. Cover and bring to a boil. Uncover pot and arrange trimmed artichokes, bottoms up, in a single layer. Add stems around artichokes. Cover pot, reduce heat to medium low and steam until tender, 20 to 40 minutes. Cooking time will vary greatly depending on the size of the artichokes. When the leaves pull out easily and the base can be pierced with a knife, they’re ready. Drain well and transfer to a large platter.

Meanwhile, place walnuts, vinegar, mustard and garlic in a blender with 5 tablespoons water and process until smooth. Add 1 or 2 more tablespoons water if needed to achieve a smooth consistency. Stir in chives. Serve artichokes and stems warm, with walnut dip on the side.

Recipe and image from wholefoodsmarket.com

3452-1Mango Black Bean Salsa

  • 1 large mango, peeled, pitted and finely diced
  • 1 avocado, halved, pitted, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 (15 ounce) can no-salt-added black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/3 cup diced red onion
  • 1 fresh jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

Method: Add all ingredients to a small bowl and stir gently to combine. Cover and refrigerate at least 10 minutes and up to 1 day for flavors to meld. Taste salsa before serving and add more salt or lime juice if desired.

Recipe and image from wholefoodsmarket.com

2592Coconut Milk Ice Cream

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 (13.5 ounce) can light coconut milk
  • 1 (13.5 ounce) can regular coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Method: In a large bowl, whisk yolks and sugar together until pale yellow, 1 to 2 minutes. Add light and regular coconut milk and whisk again until well combined.

Transfer coconut mixture to a medium pot and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until just thickened and mixture coats the back of a spoon, 8 to 10 minutes. Be sure not to let the mixture boil. Remove pot from the heat and stir in vanilla.

Transfer contents of pot to a bowl and chill until cold. Process mixture in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions then transfer to a container with a lid and freeze until firm, about 2 hours more.

Recipe and image from wholefoodsmarket.com