New Jersey Nurses Union, CWA Local 1091
260 South Livingston Ave. Livingston NJ 07039
p: 973-992-NJNU (6568) f: 973-992-8410
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Know Your Weingarten Rights!

Weingarten Rights apply during investigatory interviews. An investigatory interview occurs when (1) management questions an employee to obtain information; and (2) the employee is being asked to defend his or her conduct and/or has a reasonable belief that discipline or other adverse consequences may result from what he or she says.

When a supervisor calls an employee to the office to announce a warning or other discipline, is this an investigatory interview? The NLRB says no, because the supervisor is merely informing the employee of a previously arrived at decision. Such a meeting becomes an investigatory interview, however, if the supervisor asks questions that are related to the subject matter of the discipline.

Investigatory interviews relate to such subjects as: Absenteeism, Accidents, Non-Compliance of work rules, Damage to company property, Drinking, Drugs, Falsification of records, Fighting, Insubordination, Lateness, Poor attitude, Poor work performance, Sabotage, Slowdowns, Theft, and Violation of safety rules.

Under the Supreme Court's Weingarten decision, when an investigatory interviews occurs, the following rules apply:

  • The EMPLOYEE may request Union representation before or during the interview.
  • After the request, the employer must choose from among three options:
  1. Grant the request and delay questioning until the Union representative arrives.
  2. Deny the request and end the interview immediately.
  3. Give the employee a choice of (a) having the interview without representation (usually a mistake) or (b) ending the interview.  

If the employer denies the request for Union representation, and questions the employee, it commits an unfair labor practice, and the employee may refuse to answer.