The revision, which Robb said would be discussed at upcoming store meetings across the company, softens that wording.
"When speaking with customers or fellow Team Members, please make sure you are sensitive to others who may want to join your conversation or ask you a question. If needed, switch to a common language to be inclusive and respectful," it said. Workers still are required to converse in English with shoppers "unless requested otherwise by the customer."
"Sounds like it's corporate revisionism," said Brent Wilkes, national executive director of the League of United Latin American Citizens, whose New Mexico chapter contacted Whole Foods after the incident. "For them to make a mistake of this magnitude means there are other problems," he said. "A diverse company wouldn't have done this."
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"They're heading in the right direction, but we're still not convinced they've done enough," Wilkes said. "I think it should say use of Spanish in the workplace is encouraged... and the company values multilingualism as an asset."
The League, arguing the rule violated New Mexico's constitution protecting Spanish and America-Indian languages, had considered calling a boycott of Whole Foods.
Despite its crunchy-hippie roots, this isn't the first time Whole Foods has had to do damage control after angering liberal consumers.
When promoting his new book in January, Whole Foods' other co-CEO, John Mackey, used the word "fascism" when discussing President Obama's Affordable Care Act, a statement he later retracted after some customers called for a boycott. Mackey also provoked ire for saying climate change is "perfectly natural and not necessarily bad."
"It's surprising that a company like Whole Foods, which had had the reputation of being a fairly modern company, would have a system like this in place that's so backwards," Wilkes said of the retailer's former language policy.
In his blog post, Robb said, "We will remain open to further changes as we continue to seek third-party perspectives."
—By Martha White, NBC News.