Weingarten Rights - your right to representation when brought before management on possible disciplinary charges - is based on a 1975 U.S. Supreme Court decision initiated by organized labor (NLRB vs. J. Weingarten).
Although Weingarten Rights were developed for unionized private sector workers, these same rights have been extended to California state employees and other public employees in a series of legal decisions.
If you are ever called into a meeting with your supervisor or manager and believe the meeting or the information gathered in the meeting may result in a disciplinary action, you have specific representational rights.
These rights are summarized below:
- You have the right to have a steward (a trained union representative) present.
- If you want a steward present, you must ask for him/her to be present.
- If you do not know why your manager wants to meet with you, you must ask him/her if the meeting could result in a disciplinary action.
- If your manager refuses to allow you to bring a steward to the meeting, repeat your request in front of a witness. Do not refuse to attend the meeting and respectfully decline to answer questions until your steward is present. If the supervisor or manager insists that you answer questions you must do so. Take careful 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 - he or she is not just a witness.
"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 and before I answer any questions.”