In 1975 the United States Supreme Court in the case of NLRB v. J. Weingarten, Inc. 420 U.S. 251 (1975) upheld a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) decision that employees have a right to union representation at investigatory interviews These rights have become known as the Weingarten Rights.
During an investigatory interview, the Supreme Court ruled that the following rules apply:
Rule 1: The employee must make a clear request for union representation before or during the interview. The employee cannot be punished for making this request.
Rule 2: After the employee makes the request, the employer must choose from among three options:
- grant the request and delay questioning until the union representative arrives and (prior to the interview continuing) the representative has a chance to consult privately with the employee;
- deny the request and end the interview immediately; or
- give the employee a clear choice between having the interview without representation, or ending the interview.
Rule 3: If the employer denies the request for union representation, and continues to ask questions, it commits an unfair labor practice and the employee has a right to refuse to answer. The employer may not discipline the employee for such a refusal.
Please use your Weingarten Rights if called to a meeting with management, read the following to management before the meeting starts:
“If this discussion could in any way lead to my being disciplined or terminated, or affect my personal working conditions, I respectfully request that my union representative, officer, or steward be present at this meeting. Without representation present, I choose not to participate in this discussion.”
If you have questions about exercising your Weingarten Rights, or if you believe your rights were violated under this rule, contact your Union representative at 973-623-1828.