A Civil Rights Complaint filed on behalf of Make the Road New York alleging that pharmacies in the state of New York were providing inadequate translation and interpreting services for non and limited-English speaking customers has been settled.
According to Global Watchtower, in April 2009, seven pharmacies, including A&P, Costco, CVS, Target, Wal-mart, Duane Reade, and Rite Aid entered into a settlement agreement, committing to provided increased interpreting services and add labels providing translations on their products. In addition, staff will be trained to provide better services to limited-English speaking customers.
Rite-Aid went further than the agreement, announcing that it would make such increased services available not just in New York, but in all of its nearly 5000 stores across the nation. Rite Aid feels that it can not only improve its service to existing customers, but reach a whole new clientele. Over 46 million people in the country are non- or limited-English speakers.
In general, when such lawsuits are brought against industries reluctant to provide translation services, they tend to be settled in favor of the plaintiffs. The Global Watchtower is predicting more such lawsuits in the future, and we in academia should follow this trend closely. Translation is becoming the new civil rights issue of the future.