Weingarten Rights


If this interview could in any way lead to my being disciplined or terminated or affect my personal working conditions, respectfully request that my union be present at this meeting. Until my representative arrives, I choose not to participate in this discussion.”

If you are called to a meeting with management that you suspect will be disciplinary in nature you have the right to request union representation under the U.S. Supreme Court ruling Weingarten Rights.

If in a meeting with management you are questioned to obtain information and you have reasonable apprehension that your answers could be used as a basis for discipline or other adverse action, it is your responsibility to ask to reschedule the meeting or resume when your union representative is present. If you choose to remain you may refuse to answer.

If you are in a situation where Weingarten may apply, read or present the statement at the beginning of this page.

Every worker has a right, by law, to choose whether or not to belong to a union or to participate in lawful union activities.

  1. Does the union protect your job?

Union members work together to negotiate and enforce a contract with management that guarantees the things you care about, like your working conditions, your wages and the hours you work.

  1. Can an employer refuse a union representative?

    • No. Every worker has a right, by law, to choose whether or not to belong to a union or to participate in lawful union activities. Action by the employer aimed at preventing a worker from exercising this right, whether at the recruitment stage, during employment or by termination of employment, is unlawful.

  2. Can a union representative speak in a disciplinary hearing?

    • Your Union representative can address a disciplinary hearing on an employee’s behalf. They can present and fully explain an employee’s response to any allegation made against them. They can also sum up the employee’s case and respond on the individual’s behalf to any view expressed at the hearing.

  3. When should I ask for a union representative?

    • You can ask for your union representative at any time before or during the investigatory interview. When you invoke your Weingarten rights,the employer must either grant the request or delay questioning until the union representative arrives, or deny the request and end the meeting immediately.

  4. Can employees be dismissed for just cause in a union environment?

    • Just-cause protection marks a sharp dividing line between union and non-union or “at-will” workers. With few exceptions, employers may not dismiss union workers unless they engage in egregious or repeated misconduct.

  5. How hard is it to fire a union employee?

Steps of progressive disciplinary action include oral notice of concerns, written warning, a letter of expectation, mandatory corrective action plan and formal letters of reprimand prior to the actual termination.

  1. What powers does a union representative have?

A. Negotiating pay, terms, and conditions

B. Helping union members with disciplinary or grievance procedures including meetings to hear their cases.

C. Going with union members to meetings with their supervisor to discuss flexible working requests.

How does the Weingarten ruling apply to non-union employees?

Specifically, in 2004, the National Labor Relations Board determined that Weingarten rights do not apply to non-union employees (workers without a union). Weingarten rights enable union workers to insist on having a representative present during investigatory interviews that could reasonably result in discipline.