As union members, we have a right to union representation at work! If you are questioned by a supervisor in a way you think may result in discipline, you should assert your Weingarten Rights by saying you want a Union delegate to be with you. Without representation, you should not answer any questions. Once you have said that, the boss must:
- Wait until a delegate arrives, or
- End the interview, or
- Tell you that you can voluntarily give up your right to union representation.
Sometimes, the boss tries to bully workers or confuse us about our Weingarten Rights, saying things like:
- “The investigation is not about you, it’s about someone else.”
- “If you don’t have anything to hide you don’t need a delegate.”
- “This is about your work performance, not about discipline.”
Use your own good judgment – and don’t let the boss intimidate you! The boss may try to get you to sign a “waiver” that says you don’t want Union representation. Above all, DO NOT sign this waiver! It can come back to hurt you, and it weakens union rights for your co-workers.
In 1975, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that as a union worker, you have a right to have a delegate present during an investigatory interview. The court case is known as NLRB v. Weingarten. An “investigatory interview” takes place when the boss questions you to get information, and you have a reasonable belief that discipline might result from what you say.
The most important thing for you and your co-workers to remember is to insist that a delegate be present any time that management calls you in for an investigation.