Do you have employees who work in various countries? Is a significant portion of your workforce non-English speaking? Is it important all of your employees understand the critical responsibilities of working for your business? If you’re nodding your head to these statements, it’s important your non-English speakers understand important HR policies in your organization. The Perfect Translation works with companies to identify the most critical documents and ensure they are translated accurately.
Which HR policies are most important for translation?
Your business could be subject to many different laws and regulations requiring some of your HR policies to be translated. For example, if your organization is subject to the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), that legislation requires employers to post a “general notice” in languages other than English where a “significant portion of the employer’s workforce is not literate in English.” If your company has locations in Québec, Canada, your business must provide written employee communications and schedules in French. Those companies doing business in California are required to provide certain policies or notices to non-English speaking employee populations that make up at least 10% of the employer’s workforce, such as:
- The Policy Against Harassment, Discrimination, and Retaliation (including investigation and complaint procedures)
- Family and Medical Leave
- California Family Rights Act Leave
- Reasonable Accommodation for Employees Disabled by Pregnancy, Pregnancy Disability Leave, or Transfer.
- Notice Of Rights, Benefits, and Obligations under Worker’s Compensation Law.
Regardless of whether or not you are required by law to provide documentation in another language, there are often times when doing so makes good business sense. Suppose the policy is important enough to seek legal action to enforce it. In that case, it likely should be translated into the employee’s language to ensure all parties understand and agree to its content.
What happens if an employee is unable to read important HR documents?
Take this example of how an employer’s policies could not be upheld because the employee was unable to understand the documentation due to a language barrier. In Basulto v. Hialeah Automotive, the Florida Supreme Court decided in favor of a non-English-speaking employee who could not understand an arbitration agreement provided in English. The Court said that for an arbitration agreement to be enforceable, both parties to it must have a “meeting of the minds.” Since Basulto could not understand the agreement, the document was unenforceable.
Is it ok to rely on other employees to explain HR policies to non-English speaking workers?
Generally, this is not a good idea. Even the employees with the best intentions can misinterpret your policies or share inaccurate information. Critical aspects of your HR policies can be easily lost in translation without your knowledge.
How can you ensure your Non-English Speakers Understand Important HR Policies?
The Perfect Translation is the best legal translation service to ensure all of your most important HR policies are translated accurately for your employees. The Perfect Translation uses teams of language experts who have professional experience in the legal topics you’re dealing with–from patents to contracts, disclosures, and advertising materials. Don’t leave your essential translation work to computerized bots or generalized linguists. Contact us today for a free quote and learn more about what makes The Perfect Translation the best place to get accurate legal translations.