Know Your Rights: Weingarten Rights and Disciplinary Protection


While the 100,000 represented employees of Local 1000 are represented by 10 different bargaining units, include more than 700 different classifications, and are employed at more than 2,000 worksites, we all have at least one thing in common: the strong fundamental protection provided by what’s commonly called your “Weingarten Rights.”

Your Weingarten Rights state that it’s your right to have a representative present during an interview that you reasonably believe could lead to discipline. The right to this kind of representation stems from the 1975 Supreme Court case, NLRB v. J. Weingarten.

If you are ever called into a meeting with your supervisor or manager and believe the meeting or the information gathered in the meeting may result in discipline, you have specific representational rights. These include:

  • You have the right to have a union steward present.
  • If you want a steward present, you must ask for him or her.
  • If you do not know why your manager wants to meet with you, ask him/her if it is a meeting that could result in discipline.
  • If your manager refuses to allow you to bring a Job Steward, repeat your request in front of a witness. Do not refuse to attend the meeting but respectfully decline to answer questions until your union representative is present.
  • You have the right to speak privately with your Job Steward before and during the meeting.
  • Your Job Steward has the right to play an active role in the meeting—they’re not just a witness.
  • If your manager denies the request for union representation and directs you to answer questions even without your Job Steward present, they are committing an unfair labor practice and the employee has the right to refuse to answer. Any discipline taken under these circumstances could be challenged as improper at PERB.

This statement could save your job:

If this discussion could in any way lead to my being disciplined or terminated, I respectfully request that my steward be present at the meeting before I answer any questions. Without representation present, I choose not to respond to any questions or statements.

How to take action

If you feel these rights have been violated, contact your Local 1000 Job Steward or call the Member Resources Center from 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. Monday through Friday at 866.471.SEIU (7348).