The University of Connecticut Chapter of
THE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF UNIVERSITY PROFESSORS, INC.
Know Your Weingarten Rights
AN EMPLOYEE’S RIGHT TO UNION REPRESENTATION
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 (NLRB vs. Weingarten, Inc. 420 U.S. 251, 88 LRRM 2689). 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 an 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 or 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 employees’ responsibility to know and request.
When the employee makes the request for a union representative to be present management has three options: (I) it can stop questioning until the representative arrives. (2) it can call off the interview or, (3) it can tell the employee that it will call off the interview unless the employee voluntarily gives up his/her rights to a union representative (an option the employee should always refuse.)
WHAT TO SAY TO THE DEAN’S OFFICE OR LABOR RELATIONS OFFICIALS
“If this meeting can in any way lead to my being terminated or disciplined, o have any adverse effect on my working conditions at UConn, I respectfully request that an AAUP representative be present at this meeting. Without this representative present, I choose not to participate in this meeting.”