The United States Supreme Court, in the case of NLRB v. J. Weingarten, Inc., 420 U.S. 251 (1975), upheld a NLRB decision that employees have a right to union representation at investigatory interviews. These rights have become known as the Weingarten Rights.
During an investigatory interview, the Supreme Court declared that the following rules apply:
RULE 1: The employee must make a clear request for union representation before or during the interview. The employee cannot be punished for making this request. If you do not ask for representation and begin the interview you have waived your right to representation under the Weingarten law.
RULE 2: After the employee makes the request, the employer must choose from among three options. The Employer must either grant the request and delay questioning until the union representative arrives and has a chance to consult privately with the employee, deny the request and end the interview immediately, or give the employee a choice of having the interview without representation or ending the interview.
RULE 3: If the employer denies the request for union representation, and continues to ask questions, it commits an unfair labor practice and the employee has a right to refuse to answer. The employer may not discipline the employee for such a refusal.
So, if you are ever called into a meeting with someone from management and believe that discipline may result of the discussion, read the following statement about your rights to representation during the interview:
“If this discussion could in any way, lead to my being disciplined or terminated, or affect my personal working conditions, I respectfully request that a Union representative be present at the meeting. Without representation, I choose not to answer any questions.”
These are your Weingarten Rights. Use them to protect your rights on the job!
Page Last Updated: Apr 30, 2014 (11:28:02)