What are Weingarten Rights?
Weingarten rights, established by the Supreme Court, guarantee an employee the right to Union representation during all meetings or discussions with supervisors or managers that the member reasonably believes might lead to discipline. If you are ever pulled into a meeting with a manager or supervisor and you do not have any union representation present, tell them:
“If this discussion could in any way lead to my being disciplined or terminated or have any effect on my personal working conditions, I respectfully request that my union representative, officer or steward be present at this meeting. Without representation, I choose not to participate in this discussion.”
These meetings or discussions include discussions on the work floor, in work areas, offices and even outside the facility.
What role can your Union Representative have in these meetings?
The role of stewards or other union representatives in disciplinary meetings is to hear everything that is said, and to ensure that supervisors and managers do not question the member unfairly.
When supervisors or managers ask unfair questions, stewards should ask the supervisor or manager to ask questions clearly and fairly. If they ask an awkward, run-on or confusing question, the steward can ask them to rephrase the question. Similarly, the steward can jump in if the supervisor or manager tries to get the member to agree to something that is unclear or confusing.
Stewards can insist that supervisors and managers permit members to tell their side of the story and present their case, and can ask for meeting breaks to confer with members.
Please watch the video below for a history of Weingarten Rights!