As a member of UFCW Local 700, you have the right to union representation during any investigatory interview by your employer – a right enjoyed only by workers covered by a union contract. Known as Weingarten Rights, the right to union representation safeguards you from making statements that may lead to discipline or discharge and ensures that management and security personnel follow proper questioning procedures. Asserting this right is not an admission of wrongdoing.
If management of security personnel wants to question you about an alleged violation of company policy, ask if the conversation is disciplinary in nature or involves a security investigation.
If the answer is “YES,” then:
1. Demand union representation.
Your right to union representation is not automatic. Your employer is not required to inform you of this right, so demand union representation.
2. Appropriate union representation is a union representative or steward.
Insist on the union representative or steward for your work site as your representative. You do not have to accept union representation of your employer’s choosing.
3. Refuse to proceed without union representation.
Once you have clearly stated your desire for union representation, you are entitled to remain silent at least until such representation is provided. Stay in the room, but remain silent. Do not answer questions or explain your actions. Be sure to demand union representation; otherwise, your insistence on remaining silent could be viewed as insubordination.
4. Do not make any written or verbal statement of guilt or innocence without union representation.
You cannot be forced to make a statement. In most situations, it is not in your best interest to make any statement without union representation.
5. Do not give up your right to union representation.
Even if you initially proceed with the interview without union representation, you can request your right to union representation at any time during the interview. Any statement you make can be used against you.
Remember: This right does not apply to normal everyday conversations between an employee and supervisor that pertain to regular job duties or normal work performance.