Weingarten Rights: Your Right to Representation

If, on any occasion, your boss or supervisor calls you into a meeting and you believe that this meeting might reasonably result in discipline against you, you have the right to be accompanied in that meeting by a union steward or representative of your union.

These are the rights you have:

  • You have the right to bring along a representative of your union to that meeting.
  • You need to inform your boss that you want a union representative present.
  • If you do not know or are not told what the meeting is about, you have the right to ask whether it may be disciplinary in nature.
  • If the boss or supervisor forbids the union representative from sitting in, ask your boss again in the presence of a witness.
  • Once you have clearly requested a shop steward for the meeting, the employer
    has three options:
    1. Grant your request,
    2. Discontinue the interview, or
    3. Advise you that you have the choice to either discontinue the
    interview or waive your right to union representation by continuing the
    interview.
  • Do not agree to participate in an interview without representation.  The
    right to union representation is for your protection and you should not
    agree to waive that right.
  • If the employer refuses to recognize your right to representation and
    threatens you with discipline if you refuse to participate in the interview
    and/or answer questions, you should:
    1. Specifically state that you are not waiving your rights and are
    participating under protest.
    2. If you can, take notes about the questions you are asked and the
    answers you give.  Otherwise, write those things down immediately after the
    interview.
    3. After the interview, immediately contact your shop steward and
    discuss filing an Unfair Labor Practice complaint against the employer.
  • You have the right to talk with your union representative before and even during the meeting.
  • Your union representative has the right to participate and to speak at the meeting, not just to be there simply as a witness.These rights are called Weingarten rights. They stem from a case decided by the Supreme Court in its 1975 ruling in NLRB v. Weingarten.

As with any rights, if we do not use them, we may lose them.

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