The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that union members have the right to representation by their Stewards or Business Agents during conversations with supervisors that could potentially lead to discipline or termination. UPS Teamsters have the right to union representation whenever management is conducting an investigation of any kind. This includes investigations into accidents or questions in the office about production numbers of what happened on the route that day—even if there’s no disciplinary action on the table.
If you believe a conversation will be disciplinary in nature, follow these steps, referred to as the “Weingarten Rights”:
Demand union representation: You must ask for union representation before or during the interview. Management does not have to inform you of this important right.
INTERROGATION RIGHTS STATEMENT:
"If this discussion could in any way lead to me being disciplined, terminated or affect my personal working conditions, I request that a union steward, business agent or union officer be present at this meeting. Without representation, I choose not to answer any questions.”
Refuse to proceed without proper union representation: A questioner must be told of your request for representation. Refusal to cooperate on your part can be viewed as insubordination. If management refuses to allow you representation, stay in the room, but remain silent.
Don’t make any written or verbal statement of guilt or innocence in the absence of your union representative.
Do not wave your right to representation: If you allow yourself to be questioned without representation, you have waived your right to representation and any statements made can be used against you.
Union Stewards have these rights when being summoned to the interview:
- To be informed of the subject matter of the interview.
- To hold a private pre-interview conference with the employee.
- To speak up during the interview.
- To request clarification of questions.
- To advise the employee on how to answer questions.
- To be provided additional information once the interview is over.