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Weingarten Rights – Right to Union Representatiion

Weingarten Rights – Right to Union Representatiion

If you are a member of a Union and your employer requests to have an investigatory meeting with you that could reasonably lead to discipline, you have what are called “Weingarten Rights.”  In 1975 the United States Supreme Court found that J. Weingarten, Inc., which operated a chain of convenience stores, violated Section 8(a)(1) of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) when it denied an employee her request to have a Union representative present during an investigatory interview that the employee reasonably believed could lead to discipline.  In particular, the Supreme Court found that the employer interfered with, restrained, and coerced the individual right of an employee, protected by Section 7 of the NLRA.  Section 7 gives employees the right “to engage in … concerted activities for … mutual aid or protection….”

Under Weingarten, however, the employer is not automatically required to make a Union representative available just because an investigatory interview is taking place.  In other words, Weingarten does not require the presence of a Union representative, unless the employee requests it.  If an employee is called into an investigative interview and there is a reasonable belief that discipline could result from that interview, bargaining unit members should be instructed to tell the employer “I am asserting my Weingarten Rights and requesting Union representation.”

Ira H. Weinstock, P.C. is located in Harrisburg, PA and serves clients in and around Southeast Pennsylvania. Contact our experienced Harrisburg attorneys today, we can travel if necessary.

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