"If this discussion could in any way lead to my being disciplined or terminated, or affect my personal working conditions, I request that my Steward or union officer be present at the meeting. Without representation, I choose not to answer any question." (This is my right under a U.S. Supreme Court Decision called Weingarten).
The rights of unionized employees to have a union representative present during investigatory interviews were announced by the U.S. Supreme Court in a 1975 case. In 1975, in NLRB v. J. Weingarten, Inc, the U.S. Supreme Court defined the rights of employees in the presence of union representatives during investigatory interviews. Since that case involved a clerk being investigated by the Weingarten Company, these rights have become known as Weingarten rights.
Employees have Weingarten Rights only during investigatory interviews. An investigatory interview occurs when a supervisor questions an employee to obtain information which could be used as a basis for discipline or asks an employee to defend his or her conduct. If an employee has a reasonable belief that discipline or other adverse consequences may result from what he or she says, the employee has the right to request union representation.
When the employee makes the request for a union representative to be present, management has three options:
(1) Stop questioning until the representative arrives,
(2) Call off the interview,
(3) Tell the employee that they will call off the interview unless the employee voluntarily gives up his/her rights to a union representative (an option the employee should always refuse).
Page Last Updated: Oct 29, 2011 (17:32:55)