One of the most important sets of rights you have are called “Weingarten Rights.” They give you the right to union representation in any meeting that might result in discipline.
If you’re ever called into a meeting with a supervisor or manager that could involve discipline, you have the right to have a union steward present. Here’s what you can say before any disciplinary meeting begins:
“If this discussion could in any way lead to my being disciplined or terminated, I respectfully request that my steward be present at the meeting. Without representation present, I choose not to respond to any questions or statements.”
Here is a summary of your “Weingarten Rights” and how they work:
- You have the right to have a union steward present in any disciplinary hearing.
- If you want a steward there, you must ask for them.
- If you do not know why your manager wants to meet with you, ask them if it’s a meeting that could result in a discipline.
- If your manager refuses to allow you to bring a steward, repeat your request in front of a witness. Do not refuse to attend the meeting, but do not answer any questions. Take notes. Once the meeting is over, call your steward at once.
- You have the right to speak privately with your steward before the meeting and during the meeting.
- Your steward has the right to play an active role in the meeting. They are not just a witness.
- These rights are based on a 1975 Supreme Court decision (NLRB vs. J. Weingarten).