HR Quick Take: Language Fluency as a Job Requirement

Dentons Davis Brown

Davis Brown Law Firm

Q: We want to diversify our workforce. Can we list Spanish language fluency as a job requirement in the posting to attract Latinx applicants? The job itself has no use for the skill.

A: While encouraging and supporting diversity is a worthwhile endeavor, it is important to make sure that you keep essential job functions to truly that, the essential functions of the job. You could list language proficiency for Spanish or other languages in a preferred skill section but if you list it as mandatory when it is not mandatory you risk a claim of discrimination from those who are non-Spanish speaking.

There are other ways to encourage diversity in the workplace including advertising for jobs on multiple platforms and utilizing internal initiatives such as diversity committees to support and foster a diverse workplace.


DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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