YOUR " WEINGARTEN RIGHTS "
Demand Union Representation: You
must ask for Union representation before or during the interview.
Management does not have to tell you of this important right.
Refuse to proceed without union representation:
A questioner must be told of your desire for
representation. Refusal to cooperate on your part, can be viewed as
insubordination. If management refuses to allow you representation, stay
in the room, but remain silent.
Don't make any written or verbal statement of guilt or innocence:
You cannot be forced to make a statement.
The most appropriate response is to make NO statement - claiming
innocence is considered to be a statement.
Do not waive your right to
representation: If you proceed in
questioning without representation, you have waived your right to
representation and any statements made can be used against you.
INTERROGATION RIGHT STATEMENT
"If this discussion could in any way lead to my
being disciplined or terminated, or affect my personal working
conditions, I respectfully request that my Union Steward, Business Agent
or Union Officer be present at this meeting. Without representation, I
choose not to answer any questions."
Union representatives have these rights when
summoned to an interview:
To be informed of
the subject matter of the interview.
To hold a private
pre-interview conference with the employee.
To speak up
during the interview.
clarification of questions.
To advise the
employee on how to answer questions.
additional information once the interview is over.
REPRESENTATION DURING COMPANY INTERROGATIONS)
One of the most vital functions of a union steward is to
prevent management from intimidating employees. Nowhere is this
more important than in closed-door meetings when supervisors or guards,
often trained in interrogation techniques, attempt to coerce employees
into confessing to wrongdoing. The rights of employees to the
presence of union representatives during investigatory interviews was
announced by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1975 in NLRB v. J. Weingarten.
Inc. Since that case involved a clerk being investigated by
the Weingarten Company, these rights have become known as Weingarten
How can Weingarten rights help a steward assist a worker?
steward can help a fearful or inarticulate employee explain what
steward can raise extenuating factors.
steward can advise an employee.
steward can help prevent an employee from making admissions.
steward can help prevent a worker from losing his/her temper, and
perhaps getting fired for insubordination.
steward can be a witness to prevent supervisors from giving a false
account of the conversation.
When should an employee be concerned about Weingarten
Any time he/she has a "reasonable belief" that discipline
or other adverse consequences may result from what he/she says.
Circumstances usually relate to such subjects as:
- poor attitude
- drug tests
- damage to company property
- falsification of records
- violation of safety rules
- work performance
Under the Supreme Court's decision, the following rules
Rule 1: The employee
must make a clear request for union representation. He/she cannot
be punished for the request.
Rule 2: When a worker
makes the request, management has 3 options:
A) Grant the request & delay hearing until the
B) Deny request and end the interview immediately
C) Give the employee the choice of having the
interview without representation or ending the interview
Rule 3: If the
employer denies the request for representation, the worker has the right
to refuse to answer questions without fear of reprisal for refusing to
Notice of Meeting
Allowed private caucus or pre-meeting
Steward may speak
Ask for clarification
Supply additional information