“The Gringo’s Guide”
The Gringo’s Guide to Hispanics in the Workplace:
How to Avoid Mistakes that Undermine Profits and Lead to Lawsuits
Jacob M. Monty
Knowledge is power: Why you, the employer, need this book now.
“Many of the serious errors I have seen in my two decades representing employers with large Hispanic workforces have been perpetrated by good-hearted employers who did not acknowledge the unique background features, social norms and histories of their Latino workers.”
This book is informed by my 18 years of experience on the frontlines of Hispanic labor issues and litigation. It tells employers how to hire, treat and maintain their Hispanic workers—not only to keep within the law and keep managers from making costly mistakes, but also to harvest the great competitive advantages offered by Hispanic employees.
America is changing. A great wave of Latin American immigration—which rivals that from Europe in the late 19th and early 20th centuries—continues to alter the United States politically, socially and economically. That, coupled with higher Hispanic birth rates, leads the U.S. Census Bureau to predict that by 2050 Hispanics will account for nearly a third of our population. What is more, by 2050, one half of the U.S. workforce will be Hispanic.
For you, the employer, to stay on top of that wave—to remain competitive, retain good people and get the most out of them—you, too, need to change. To reap the many benefits of Hispanic power in the workplace—and to avoid legal hassles and costly litigation—the savvy employer has to learn how to listen to, talk to, and work with a wildly diverse U.S. Hispanic workforce, many with family and cultural issues that need special awareness to effectively mine their astounding productivity. This book—coupled with effective legal counsel—can help you do that and become even more successful.
If you’re not taking full advantage of the many benefits Hispanics bring to the workplace, you’re falling behind. Already many industries—from restaurants to dairy farming, from carpet installation to roofing—rely on Hispanics for knowledgeable and industrious workers. But Hispanics work well with their hearts and minds as well as their hands, and increasingly businesses depend on Hispanic managers, marketers and strategists to address a fast-growing Hispanic consumer market and buying power, both here and abroad.
Hispanic employment in the U.S. has been growing at a 16 percent annual average over the past decade, and more than a third of total U.S. job growth belongs to Hispanic applicants. But this great influx of Hispanic workers—many who are new immigrants and temporary workers—has brought with it new realities for their employers. Immigration issues, safety concerns, differing workplace conventions, and cultural differences all can tax businesses hiring Hispanics. In addition, ever-increasing government regulation and scrutiny of the workplace—from ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) to OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Administration), the IRS and more—has complicated human resources functions for businesses. And being lax about the law has cost some employers plenty—from stiff government penalties to multimillion-dollar judgments in discrimination and harassment civil suits. Some businesses have even gone bankrupt as a result.
But forewarned is forearmed. In the following pages we strive to alert employers to some of the common missteps others have made in hiring Hispanics and to inform them of best practices to get the most out of their Hispanic workers. You’ll learn about:
- the value and benefits in employing Hispanic workers.
- the extent of Hispanics in the workforce.
- pitfalls and common mistakes that undermine worker morale, productivity and retention.
- risks involved—and how to avoid sanctions and lawsuits.
- methods to keep a legally compliant workplace.
- varied Hispanic cultures, the law in their home countries, and more.
However, just reading this book alone isn’t sufficient. The stakes are high—your very survival as a business could depend on doing the right thing at the right time. An ounce of prevention—that is, some competent legal advice upfront—could save you tons of costly legal cures down the road. Many of the serious errors I have seen in my years of representing employers with large Hispanic workforces have been perpetrated by good-hearted employers who did not acknowledge the unique background features, social norms and histories of their workers.
Nonetheless, the forecast for hiring Hispanics is bright. Our great melting pot is being fortified with a resilient and ambitious element—the Hispanic worker. The wise employer will recognize that and take advantage, to everyone’s benefit.
About the Author, Jacob Monty