I’d Like to Report a Potential Crime

So, this nonsense has passed the State Senate.

Of course, I couldn’t help but wonder what would happen if we struck all the non-English out of the bill. Curious?

Here’s the bill:


By Johnson

AN ACT to amend Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 4 and Title 50, to enact the “Protecting English in the Tennessee Workplace Act.”


SECTION 1. This act shall be known, and may be cited as, the “Protecting English in the Tennessee Workplace Act”.

SECTION 2. Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 4-21-401, is amended by adding at the end the following as a new subsection:


(1) Notwithstanding this chapter or title 50, it shall not be an unlawful employment practice for an employer to require an employee to speak, or an applicant for employment to agree to speak, English while engaged in work.


(A) An individual shall not be considered to be engaged in work under subdivision (c)(1) during a bona fide meal period, a rest period, or any other break, during which the individual is not required to perform any duties.

(B) In this subdivision (c)(2), the term “bona fide meal period” means such period, and the term “rest period” means such period, within the meaning of sections 785.19 of title 29, Code of Federal Regulations, or any corresponding similar regulation or ruling.

SECTION 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2008, the public welfare requiring it.

So, I guess that this means that, should this legislation pass, we’ll have a ton of job openings for etymologists who can monitor what everyone in a workplace that chooses to adopt this says and…

…What?  Call the police if anyone uses non-English?  Demand that said person be fired?

I don’t know, but it’d be worth finding out.  What, exactly, are folks using as the definition of “English” in this English Only bill?  What would be the penalty for disagreeing? And who do we call for a ruling about what constitutes “English” enough?

14 thoughts on “I’d Like to Report a Potential Crime

  1. Right on, idjwits of the Tennessee Senate! Let’s use English at work today!

    Eft he axode, hu ðære ðeode nama wære þe hi of comon. Him wæs geandwyrd, þæt hi Angle genemnode wæron. Þa cwæð he, “Rihtlice hi sind Angle gehatene, for ðan ðe hi engla wlite habbað, and swilcum gedafenað þæt hi on heofonum engla geferan beon.

  2. We went out to dinner the other night. I ordered the filet mignon with potatoes au gratin and a glass of cabernet sauvignon. My wife ordered fajitas and a margarita. When the server put our order in, a group of men carrying guns and claiming to be law enforcement officials burst in the restaurant and hauled off the server in manacles for violating the Protecting English in the Workplace Act.

    The server’s attorney filed a writ of habeaus corpus and was summarily executed.

  3. Pingback: Volunteer Voters » Define English

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