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Bill would make most business language barriers unlawful


The California state senate has recently passed a bill that would make it illegal for business owners in the state without a very specific business necessity to require a certain language be spoken at their business.

SB 111 expands the state's civil rights code, making it unlawful to deny service to an individual solely because they do not speak a specific language. It would allow them to sue for minimum damages of $4,000 per violation.

However, a number of business leaders are worried about the potential ramifications of the bill and have formed a coalition to speak out against SB 111. The group sent a letter to all state senators.

"Although we believe the bill is well-intentioned, we are concerned with the unintended consequences that may result from the vague and ambiguous language currently used in the bill," the letter reads.

This bill could potentially add to the numerous regulations that businesses have to follow. Small businesses in particular may face difficulty keeping track of an additional rule, as they may not have legal departments and other measures in place to consistently ensure they are complying with state laws. Professional liability insurance can help these businesses, as they may have a greater risk of making an error that could lead to legal consequences.

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