One of the most vital function of a Union Steward is to prevent management from intimidating employees.
Nowhere is this more important than in closed-door meetings when supervisors or guards, often trained in interrogation techniques,
attempt to coerce employees into confessing to wrongdoing.
In 1975 in NLRB v. J. Weingarten, Inc. the U. S. Supreme Court announced the rights of employees in the presence of union representatives during investigatory interviews. Since that case involved a clerk being investigated by the Weingarten Company, these rights have become known as Weingarten Rights.
Under the Supreme Court's Weingarten decision, when an investigatory Interview occurs, the following rules apply:
The employee must make a clear request for union representation. Before or during the interview. "I want a Shop Steward"
The employee cannot be punished for making this request.
After the employee makes the request, the employer must choose from among three options. The employer must either:
A. Grant the request and delay questioning until the union representative arrives and has a chance to consult privately with the employee; or
B. Deny the request and end the interview immediately; or
C. Give the employee a choice of (1) having the interview without representation or (2) ending the interview.
If the employer denies the request for union representation, and continues to ask questions,
it commits an unfair labor practice and the employee has a right to refuse to answer.
The employer may not discipline the employee for such a refusal.
Shop Stewards should explain Weingarten rights to all employees they represent.
Cards with the following statement are available at
The Local Lodge 10 Union Hall