- It wasn't me.
- Yeah, but Capone just died. We're ok now.
- Chicago? No, you must be thinking of Milwaukee.
- Give Rahm Emanuel til October and we'll be Omaha with a lake.
You get the idea. Pick something else to talk about.
2. Dos: Get a Handbook en Español
"Employers are well advised to put their important employment policies such as no-harassment policy into the languages the employees actually understand."
This makes sense, doesn't it?
If some of your employees prefer Spanish, make sure your HR documents are in Spanish. Otherwise, you're going to hamstring your attorney (or Mr. Monty) when things go awry and the courts start questioning what steps you took to prevent the issue at hand.
If you have communication you consider vital put it in a language your employees can understand. Spending a few thousand dollars on translation could save you a few hundred thousand down the line. Don't be pennywise and pound foolish.
Here is Monty's take: "No federal or state law requires an employer to have an employee handbook. Yet, employers have found that a handbook is an excellent way to communicate important information to employees…. The employee handbook is also an excellent defense against employee lawsuits and administrative charges."
One day you'll have a handbook en Español. Do you plan to distribute it before or after a lawsuit?
3. Tres: Basic Strategies for Immigration Compliance
Chapter Four of Monty's book covers noncompliance with federal regulations. This section alone is worth the $14.00 price tag for The Gringo's Guide.
If you hire Hispanics, you could be dealing with fraudulent documents. False docs are easy to get. Monty knows. He went undercover, posing as an illegal immigrant, and witnessed firsthand the million dollar (if not billion) business that is the black market for fake documents.
Monty presents an easy-to-follow Top 10 List for immigration compliance. The list is certainly not a substitute for sound legal advice, but it's a start.
Ahorita (ow-REE-tah) - Now
Over the past several weeks, Hispanics have been featured on the cover of TIME (Yo Decido.) and USA TODAY (announcing minorities now represent more than half of all U.S. newborns).
Here's the reality: We're in the together.
Hispanics can offer your company great competitive advantages. In construction, just look at the ranks of landscapers, roofers, painters, drywallers, concrete workers, and laborers - to name only a few. There is a reason Hispanics own these jobs now - they want them and they are great at them.
Take advantage of the advice provided in The Gringo's Guide to Hispanics in the Workplace.
Bradley Hartmann is el presidente and founder of Red Angle - a Spanish language training firm focused exclusively on the construction industry. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and www.redanglespanish.com.