Suffolk AME Protection of Employees
A supervisor who wishes to meet with an employee, whereby the meeting could reasonably result in disciplinary action, shall notify the employee prior to the meeting of his/her right to have a representative of Suffolk AME present at any interview.
In 1975 the United States Supreme Court, in the case of NLRB v. J. Weingarten, Inc., 420 U.S. 251 (1975), upheld a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) decision that employees have a right to Union representation at investigatory interviews. These rights have become known as the Weingarten Rights.
During an investigatory interview, the Supreme Court ruled that the following rules apply:
Rule 1: The employee must make a clear request for Union representation before or during the interview. The employee cannot be punished for making this request.
Rule 2: After the employee makes the request, the employer must choose from among three options:
- grant the request and delay questioning until the Union representative arrives and (prior to the interview continuing) the representative has a chance to consult privately with the employee;
- deny the request and end the interview immediately; or
- give the employee a clear choice between having the interview without representation, or ending the interview.
Rule 3: 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.