Billy Reed, the owner of an eponymous restaurant in Palm Springs, Calif. has issued a new rule for his employees banning them from speaking Spanish while they are working anywhere in the front-of-house, reports KESQ News, an ABC and CBS affiliate.
Reed reportedly decided to enforce the rule on behalf of customers, from whom he received complaints that “they felt uncomfortable about employees speaking Spanish” and were “worried the workers talked about them.”
According to KESQ News, the sign read, "Billy Reed's employees please do not speak Spanish to other employees anywhere in the restaurant except when necessary on the cook line, that means not in the waitress stations or at the front desk."
A restaurant employee told KESQ News that “the boss was going to fire the first one he heard talking in Spanish,” despite the fact that the population of Palm Springs is more than a quarter Latino, as Grub Street first pointed out.
Vee Sotello, an attorney from the firm Ferguson & Mule, confirmed to KESQ News that the rule was risky, particularly in an area where Spanish is so commonly spoken, and is not likely to be upheld in court.