A colleague tells me about a woman who works at a small manufacturing facility in the Houston area. The facility employs many Hispanic workers who speak poor English with a heavy accent. The front office folks are Caucasian. The workers on the floor are mostly Hispanic with a few recent immigrants from Mexico.
The woman friend needs to speak with the Hispanic workers on occasion. She was speaking to a worker about a project and encouraging him to speak English and not call for an interpreter. His accent was difficult, but the woman friend was communicating with him adequately, when a senior female manager walks by and interjects. "He’s only a Mexican. Why bother?" Then the manager continues on her errand without even looking back. The Hispanic worker cast his eyes downward and lost his willingness to discuss the product at issue.
Apart from notions of civil rights, how do such interactions promote efficiency? Did the senior manager’s comment promote or hinder workplace efficiency?
Another time, the company was planning their company Halloween party. The front office folks were doing the planning discussing the details. The office workers debated whether to invite the Hispanic floor workers. The senior female manager, remarked," What? Invite them and they’ll bring their six kids!" Yet, this senior female manager has never actually spoken with any of the floor workers. She knows none of them.
The senior female manager violates many more rules other than Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. She daily recommends violations of tax rules, accounting procedures and others. Folks who violate one set of rules often violate other rules, as well.