The WaPo reports that the Cooch has screwed the Pooch…he wants to give employers the right to terminate employees who don’t speak English. You know, presumably the same employer who hired the employee and knew said employee couldn’t speak English.
Clearly this is a way to keep business payments to fund the state unemployment fund down. Nonetheless, is it a bad bill.
I commented on this earlier today at RK, but the more I think about it the more annoyed I get.
RK says that Dick Saslaw considers the bill “mean spirited”. I originally thought it was merely silly. Now I have progressed to thinking it stupid…or, as I think they say in another country, “idiota”.
The bill is bad for two reasons:
Impossible legal standard:
What defines a reasonable legal standard for being able to speak English? Fluency? Proficiency? Competency? Able to make oneself understood? There are people I know who are born and raised in this country who speak in such a manner that they cause me to wonder if they really can speak English, yet they are deemed to be able to. What standard defining english speaking competency is so exact that it can meet a court challenge?
Is this bill really needed?
If they don’t speak English, and they need to be able to speak English to do their job, don’t hire them.
If they are doing their job despite being unable to be able to speak English, why fire them?
If they are unable to do their jobs (even if as a result of being unable to speak English, then they can be terminated for cause.
It is not like these people were hired site unseen…if an employer is stupid enough to hire someone who doesn’t speak English for a position that requires fluency, why exactly is the state government expected to protect them? This is conservative government in action?
The next time Cooch talks against the “Nanny State”, remind him of this bill.
Of course, at one level this bill does not surprise me.
This is exactly what Ben Tribbett predicted-Ken Cuccinelli with all the wraps off can be the Democrats worst nightmare or a loose cannon doing no one any good. Depending on 2011 redistricting, Cuccinelli either goes into a Democratic majority seat he cannot win (located primarily Fairfax County) OR into a seat that picks up significant GOP areas in Western PWCo that will be much easier for him to win. Either way he gets more latitude to push legislation like this.
If he is doomed to be in a vastly democratic seat, he has nothing to lose so he will come out swinging
If he is guaranteed to be a solidly GOP seat, he has nothing to worry about…so he will come out swinging.
He probably figures that if he runs statewide, a bill like this will help him with the GOP conservative base and with those worried about immigration. Could be, could be…
One thing, this is not the bill of someone looking to run for Congress in Northern Virginia. This is a bill proposed by someone willing to take his lumps now to help his chances in a bigger race in 2009.