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You're Being Watched - Weingarten Rights
Updated On: Sep 28, 2016
VIDEO You need to realize that you are being watched at work. The video cameras an Employer installs in order to watch for vandalism have, with increasing frequency, been used when employees are reprimanded for work related issues. Your best protection is to do your job and be truthful (which 99.9% of us do without fail). EMAIL Your work email is not your private email account. Your employer may go through your work emails if they have suspicions about your comments, behavior, etc. It may be possible for them to use this information against you. Use your work email for work. MEETINGS If you are attending a meeting and it becomes disciplinary in nature, you are entitled to have a representative present at the meeting - but you need to ask for the meeting to be stopped until your representative is able to be present. If, on any occasion, your supervisor calls you into a meeting and you believe that this meeting might reasonably result in discipline against you, you have the right to be accompanied in that meeting by a representative of your union. These are the rights you have: ? You have the right to bring along a representative of your union to that meeting. ? You need to inform your supervisor that you want a union representative present. ? If you do not know or are not told what the meeting is about, you have the right to ask whether it may be disciplinary in nature (or may lead to discipline). If your supervisor forbids the union representative from sitting in, ask your supervisor again in the presence of a witness. The supervisor has no right to refuse your request, but don't leave, just keep repeating, "I will be glad to continue this discussion when my representative is present." Once you have clearly requested a representative for the meeting, the employer has three options: 1. Grant your request, 2. Discontinue the interview, or 3. Advise you that you have the choice to either discontinue the interview or waive your right to union representation by continuing the interview. Do not agree to participate in an interview without representation. The right to union representation is for your protection and you should not agree to waive that right. If the employer refuses to recognize your right to representation and threatens you with discipline if you refuse to participate in the interview and/or answer questions, you should: ? Specifically state that you are not waiving your rights and are participating under protest and will answer their questions once your union representative is present. Stay and do not leave the meeting but answer each question with you will answer the questions when your union representative is present. ? If you can, take notes about the questions you are asked and the answers you give. Otherwise, write those things down immediately after the interview. ? After the interview, immediately contact your shop steward or Labor Relations Representative. You have the right to talk with your union representative before and even during the meeting. Your union representative has the right to participate and to speak at the meeting, not just to be there simply as a witness. These rights are called Weingarten rights. They stem from a case decided by the Supreme Court in its 1975 ruling in NLRB - Weingarten. Be careful not to make a bad situation worse - DO NOT LIE!
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