On a recent job interview, a friend was turned down because he does not speak Spanish. Is this discrimination?

This man lost his job during the present employment crisis. (Almost 10% unemployment now.) He has two daughters and is about to lose his home. He was highly recommended for the job and met all the qualifications except for his inability to speak Spanish. Is something wrong with this picture?


  1. Your friend met MOST of the qualifications. He didn’t meet all of the qualifications because he doesn’t speak Spanish. Perhaps he could offer to learn Spanish quickly with something like Rosetta Stone or another language program.

    Jeanne R
  2. it could be considered a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ) not any different from possession of a valid driver’s license if the person must drive for the company.

    if he can prove that he can function as well as a Spanish speaking person in the position or that he can take a course and become proficient in Spanish, he may have a case for discrimination but i doubt he’d be able to "perfect" his case

  3. Tell him to buy rossetta stone (computer program teaches you any language real fast) and he’ll know spanish within weeks, then he can go back in that place and tell them to go fuck themselves in spanish

  4. There are several notable hiring laws that protect employers when it comes to hiring practices. The most widely-known is a clause called "bona fide occupational qualifications". Simply put, this allows an employer to consider certain qualifications that would otherwise be discriminatory if they weren’t reasonably necessary for the operation of a particular business. For example, a lot of public and private transportation companies (airlines, trains, etc.) can set mandatory retirement ages for certain workers based on safety concerns. The employment discrimination code of U.S. Code Title 29 (labor) Chapter 1, subsections a,b,c, and e goes into great detail about "BFOQ" as does almost the entire Civil Rights Act of 1964.


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