“If this discussion could in any way lead to my being disciplined or terminated, or affect my personal working conditions, I request that my Steward or union officer be present at the meeting. Without representation, I choose not to answer any question.” (This is my right under a U. S. Supreme Court Decision called Weingarten).
The rights of unionized employees to have present a union representative during investigatory interviews were announced by the U.S. Supreme Court in a 1975 case. These rights have become known as the Weingarten rights.
Employees have Weingarten rights only during investigatory interviews. An investigatory interview occurs when a supervisor questions an employee to obtain information which could be used as a basis for discipline or asks the employee to defend his or her conduct.
If an employee has a reasonable belief that discipline or other adverse consequences may result from what he was she says, the employee has the right to request union representation. Management is not required to inform the employee of his/her Weingarten Rights: It is the employee's responsibility to know and request.
When the employee makes the request for a union representative to be present, management has three options:
1. they can stop questioning him tell the representative arrives.
2. they can call off the interview or,
3. they can tell the employee that they will call off the interview unless the employee voluntarily gives up his or her rights to a union representative (an option the employee should always refuse).