Weingarten Rights

Employees do not have to be alone when they are questioned by an employer in a situation that might result in discipline. An employees’ right to representation was established in a 1975 United States Supreme Court decision, NLRB v. Weingarten, Inc. Since that case involved a clerk being investigated by the Weingarten Company, these rights have become known as “Weingarten Rights.” for public sector employees.

Know Your Weingarten Rights

  1. Union Members Have The Right To A Union Representative

If none is available, you can demand to postpone.

  1. The Right To Know The Subject Matter Of The Interview

Employees and stewards have the right to know what specific subjects and issues will be addressed in the interview. Do not let management go on a fishing expedition.

  1. The Right To Have A Private Conversation

The steward must be allowed to take the workers aside for a private pre-interview conference before questioning begins and at any time during the meeting with management.

  1. The Right To Speak During The Interview

The steward is allowed to speaking during the interview. During this meeting, the steward is considered to be the same status as management.

  1. The Right To Ask For Clarification

The steward can ask that the supervisor clarify a question so that the worker can understand what is being asked.

  1. The Right To Counsel

Before questions have been asked the steward can give advice on how to answer the questions.

  1. The Right To Inform

Before questions have been asked the steward can give advice on how to answer the questions.

  1. The Limits of Weingarten

If Weingarten rights are honored, stewards have no right to tell workers to lie or to refuse to answer questions

Invoking Your Weingarten Rights

If a manager tells you about a meeting, ask if you need a steward or union organizer present. You may also read or recite the following language:

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 representation, officer or steward be present at the meeting. Until my representation arrives, I choose not to participate in this discussion.

Union Rights

The National Labor Relations Act, Section 7, guarantees employees the right to:

  • Self-Organize: to form, join, or assist labor organizers, to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing, and to engage in other concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection.
  • Discuss union organizing efforts during non-work time (breaks, before and after work) or when other non-work discussions are normally allowed.
  • Sign union petitions or cards without fear of retaliation.
  • Distribute literature during non-work time in non-work areas (parking lot, breakrooms, etc.)
  • Engage in lawful union activity without monitoring or the impression of being monitored by the employer. 

Because we have the right to form a union, it’s illegal for management to:

  • Discriminate against any of us based on our union activities. 
  • Promise benefits or privileges to discourage support of our union.
  • Threaten layoffs to discourage support of our union.
  • Selectively discipline any union supporter.
  • Spy on use for the purpose of observing union activities. 

If a manager challenges you:

  1. Comply with management’s directives.
  2. Write down the time, place, who was involved and what was said.
  3. Share this with your AFT Connecticut organizer.

Always remember T.I.P.S.

No Threats

No Interrogation

No Promises

No Surveilance