NASHVILLE – Representative Matthew Hill (R-Jonesborough) announced this week that he will be moving forward with his “Protecting English in the Workplace” legislation, which is similar to that of Senator Lamar Alexander’s legislation in Washington. Hill said he believed there is a pressing need for the measure, which would clarify that it is not against the law for businesses to require that English be spoken on the job.


“We are a state of great cultural diversity that has united on many common fronts,” stated Rep. Hill. “One of the things on which we connect is language. It is not unreasonable to protect businesses by clarifying that they are allowed to set policies, including requiring that English be spoken on the job, according to their business’ needs.”


Hill said that the bill does allow for some exceptions such as lunch hours or other designated breaks. He said the bill would simply serve a law designed to protect businesses from the frivolous lawsuits that can emerge when private business policies are set perfectly within their rights.


“For many businesses, requiring English is a safety precaution. Businesses where employees are continuously handling toxic products or food containers have a need to require English. Other businesses, for example factories, have signs displayed in English that communicate critical safety information,” Rep. Hill explained. “These are the business practices that we are trying to protect.”


Matthew Hill is serving his second term in the legislature. His district encompasses part of Washington County.