Your Weingarten Rights
Your right to union representation during investigatory meetings
In 1975, the U.S. Supreme Court held that employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement have a right to be represented during investigatory meetings or interviews with a supervisor.
When to bring a union representative
You have the right to have a union representative at any meeting or investigatory interview with a supervisor or administrator that you reasonably believe might lead to discipline. These are called your Weingarten Rights, named after the 1975 U.S. Supreme Court decision. Your supervisor does not have to notify you of your right to union representation — you must assert your Weingarten Rights. This applies to everyone who works in a unionized child care center, school, college or university, whether public or private.
What is discipline?
Discipline might include a written reprimand, a demotion, an unpaid suspension from work, or termination.
About attending meetings
If you are told to attend a meeting with your supervisor, ask what the topic will be. If it sounds to you as if it might lead to discipline, contact your union and ask for a representative to accompany you. Or, if you are in a meeting with your supervisor and the direction turns toward reprimand, say that you would like to reschedule the meeting to allow you to have a union representative present. If the supervisor refuses, explain that you prefer not to answer questions, but that you will if directly ordered to do so.
To assert your Weingarten Rights, say:
“If this discussion could in any way lead to my being disciplined, terminated, or could affect my personal working conditions, I respectfully request that my union representative be present.”