The Supreme Court has ruled that an employee is entitled to have a Union Representative present during any interview that may result in his or her discipline.
This means that you may request Union representation during investigatory interviews if you reasonably believe that the interview could result in your being disciplined. Weingarten rights also guarantee the rights of union representatives to assist and counsel employees during interviews which could lead to discipline.
It is up to you, the employee, to insist upon Union representation. If you fail to do so, you may waive your rights. Your employer has no obligation to inform you of this right.
Management does not have to call the representative. Instead, the employer can stop the meeting or just issue the discipline.
Once a Union representative is called, he/she has the right (1) to know the subject of the investigatory hearing; (2) to confer with the member prior to the hearing; and (3) to speak and participate in the hearing. However, the representative cannot argue the case since this is not a grievance hearing.
An employee does not have the right to select the representative of his or her choice. For example, the department steward will be called, if available. The nearest available representative will be called if the department steward is unavailable.
Interrogation Rights 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 refuse to answer any questions.”
For more information about Weingarten Rights, contact your representative at (650) 635-0111 or 1-800-758-TEAM.