One of the hallmarks of NAGE, and an operating principle that sets us apart from so many other national unions, is our belief that locals know best how to meet the needs of their membership. We believe that locals should have reasonable autonomy, while still receiving expert support from the national level when needed.
To help locals reach the highest level of autonomy, we will continually add documents, tip sheets, and useful information to this section so that stewards, presidents, and other local leaders have quick and easy access to answers to common questions and concerns.
Never Forget Your Union Rights on the Job: "Weingarten Rights"
Most employees think it could never happen to them, but ... if you are ever called into an interview meeting with your supervisor or manager so that they can investigate a situation that might result in discipline, you have specific representational rights. These rights are called Weingarten Rights and are based on a 1975 Supreme Court decision (NLRB v. J. Weingarten).
WEINGARTEN RULES TO REMEMBER
Under the Supreme Court’s Weingarten decision, when an investigatory interview occurs, the following rules apply:
RULE 1: You have the right to have a union steward or union representative present, and you have the right to speak privately with your representative before the meeting and during the meeting. Your steward has the right to play an active role in the meeting and is not just a witness.
You must make a clear request for union representation before or during the interview; management is not obligated to inform you of your right to representation.
If your manager refuses to allow you to bring a representative, do not refuse to attend the meeting, but do not answer any questions either. Take notes. Once the meeting is over call your representative at once.
RULE 2: After you make the request, your supervisor or manager can do one of three things:
RULE 3: If your request for union representation is denied and your manager/supervisor continues to ask you questions, he or she is committing an unfair labor practice and you have a right to refuse to answer. Your manager or supervisor may not discipline you for such a refusal.
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