Employee Rights in “Weingarten” Meetings
Beware that management is not obligated to inform employees of their Weingarten rights - employees must ask for them. Unlike Miranda rights - where police are required to tell a suspect of his/her right to an attorney, etc. - employees must ask for their Weingarten rights.
Some locals provide members with a wallet-sized card they can keep with them. If they find themselves in a meeting they believe may lead to discipline, they can read or hand the card to the supervisor.
Steward Rights in “Weingarten” Meetings
•Ask to be informed of the purpose of the meeting. •Meet with the employee before the supervisor begins questioning the employee. •If necessary, request clarification of a question before the employee responds. •Offer advice to the employee on how to answer a question. •Provide additional information to the supervisor after the meeting is over.
If called in to a “Weingarten” meeting, you should also: 1) take detailed notes on the questions asked and the answers given during the meeting; and 2) help the employee remain calm during the meeting, and remind the employee to keep answers short and truthful and not volunteer additional information.
Sample Weingarten Card
If the discussion in this meeting could in any way lead to my being disciplined or terminated, or impact on my personal working conditions, I request that my steward, local officer or union representative be present. Without union representation, I choose not to answer any further questions at this time.”
This is my right under a Supreme Court decision called Weingarten (or cite a state law).
Source: AFSCME's Shop Steward Handbook