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Why is Legal Translation Important to Protecting Employees?

legal translation protects employees

Last updated on August 12th, 2022 at 03:07 pm


legal translation services protect employees

Widely publicized harassment scandals have rightfully placed the issue of employee safety and protection at the forefront. To create a safe and respectful work environment, steps must be taken to ensure that rules and guidelines serving to protect a company’s employees are clearly communicated, regularly updated, and effectively enforced. When the employee population is a diverse workforce, rights and responsibilities are most effectively communicated through the translation of employee handbooks. Translation of HR-related documents plays a significant role in helping limited English proficient (LEP) employees understand a company’s policies and guidelines in regards to employee safety.

In cases where there’s a dispute or a situation where legal service is required, legal translation services will be needed for depositions or case presentations in court. When a case of employee safety requires translation services and/or interpretation services, the accuracy and timeliness of these language services are paramount.

The demand for legal translation services as well as legal interpreters is high due to factors like immigration, exchange of employees within International companies, or foreign companies coming to the USA. As more people come to the U.S. for employment opportunities, companies must consider making legal translation a part of their employee protection plan. 

LEP Workers are more Vulnerable to Workplace Harassment

Feelings of intimidation are natural when working a job in a new environment where the culture and language are not one’s own. When harassment is present, the language barrier is just one of the factors preventing many LEP employees from reporting such incidents. In numerous cases, these employees have a legitimate fear that reporting their harassers could result in them losing their jobs. In an article published in November 2017 in the Boston Globe, it was reported that the issue of sexual misconduct is thought to be “much more prevalent, and hidden, among low-wage workers” and that very often the victims do not speak English and are not familiar with the procedures for reporting abuse. 

It is the responsibility of workplace managers and Human Resources departments to ensure that their LEP employees know exactly what to do to protect themselves from harassment and the procedures to follow if they are harassed. 

The distribution of a professionally translated anti-harassment policy and procedures is the first step to helping LEP employees feel safe in their work environments. When a complaint is filed, the employee must be able to navigate the complaint process. The use of a professional legal interpreter on site is vital to enforcing the policy and making sure the affected employee’s situation is clearly understood by the manager and that the employee understands the next steps to be taken. 

There is no “Easy Route” When it comes to Legal Translation

Often, the first thought people have when considering a translation service is – “Could I just have my bilingual associate or friend translate?” When it comes to legal translation, the answer is a resounding no! The legal field itself is filled with a variety of legal terminology many of which are understood best by a lawyer or experienced professional in the field. The topic of employee safety is a highly sensitive one that requires each guideline and rule to be perfectly understood by all. A slight error in translation or small misunderstanding could damage a work environment and lead to costly outcomes in the form of lawsuits, lost business, and damaged reputation. 

Moreover, when doing a legal translation, no changes can be done to the translation or interpretation, and no bias can be introduced. An amateur translator or interpreter might not be trained or aware of such

Moreover, legal translation is a skill that requires the translator to be completely unbiased when delivering the translation. The translator must be careful not to deviate from the messages presented in the original content when translating. An inexperienced translator might not be trained or knowledgeable on how to translate within these boundaries.

We help Protect Employees through Legal Translation and Legal Interpretation

JR Language is a Translation Company that provides professional legal translation services which include employee handbook translation, and translation of anti-harassment policies. Additionally, we provide professional interpreters who will help non-English speaking employees in training sessions understand how safety and anti-harassment guidelines are enforced. 

The cost of providing legal translation services and legal interpretation is small compared to the damage done to a company’s reputation because of a harmful work environment. Make sure all your employees know exactly what to do to protect themselves and help maintain a safe workplace. 

Flora Yu
Flora Yu
Flora was born and raised in New York to parents from Hong Kong and Taiwan. She has a degree in Accounting. She is fluent in Mandarin, and contributes a unique perspective as someone who was raised in 2 different cultures. She finds humor and opportunities to learn as she constantly searches for the balance between the East and West.