Laws for non-English Speakers

Laws concerning the right for non-English speakers to have an interpreter

  1. Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, “Prohibition Against National Origin Discrimination Affecting Limited English Proficient Persons,” 42 U.S. C. 2000d-2000d-4; 28 CFR 42.101, requires all recipients of federal assistance, including state courts and hospitals, to implement plans to ensure that limited English proficient individuals have access to services. Also, the law requires that all hospitals provide meaningful language services.
  2. Executive Order 13166, “Improving Access to Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiency,” U.S. Department of Justice, mandates improved access to federally conducted and federally assisted programs and activities for persons who, as a result of national origin, are limited in their English proficiency.
  3. New York State Patients’ Bill of Rights, New York Public Health Law, Sec. 2801-c (McKinney 1985), requires a hospital to provide interpreters and translators to non-English speaking patients, when such non-English speaking residents comprise at least 1 percent of the population of that hospital’s service area.
  4. The Court Interpreters Act was enacted in 1978. Title 28 USC §1827 is the federal law that establishes appointment and qualification procedures for interpreters in judicial proceedings instituted by the United States.