Under certain circumstances, employees represented under a collective bargaining agreement are entitled to Weingarten rights. Wiengarten Rights refers to an employee's right, upon his/her request, to be represented at an investigatory interview if he/she reasonably believes that disciplinary action may result. Employee Relations recommends that Administrators take the steps identified in the sections below.
A Weingarten is a fact-finding meeting. A represented employee has the right to have union representation present during any Investigatory interview (Weingarten Rights) if the outcome may result in disciplinary action against the employee. Sometimes the meetings are called Weingarten meetings or simply, a Weingarten. Weingarten was the California case law that established this right to representation. An employee may decline their right to representation, and the meeting can proceed. Administrators are encouraged to be flexible when scheduling or adjusting a meeting time to allow for a union representative, if requested.
Upon his/her request, an employee may be represented at an investigatory interview if he/she reasonably believes that disciplinary action may result. Prior to the interview, the employee is entitled to be informed of the general nature of the matter being investigated and to consult with his/her representative, if any. The right to representation does not apply to meetings held exclusively to inform an employee of a previously made disciplinary decision. If the representative an employee requests is unavailable, the employee may request alternate representation. The Employer is not obliged to postpone the interview, nor to suggest or secure the alternate representation; however, the employee shall not be required to answer any questions without a representative present, unless he/she voluntarily chooses to do so. At its discretion, the Employer may decline to hold any interview if the employee requests representation.
A Weingarten meeting is not necessary for normal work day interactions, feedback, discussions, and meetings between the Administrator and the represented employee.
It is also not necessary when an Administrator is delivering an annual performance evaluation.
However, Administrators are encouraged to consider an employee request to have union representation for a meeting, if they believe that discipline may result.
You are encouraged to contact the campus Employee Relations staff for further guidance in carrying out an investigation, the Weingarten process, and any other concerns you may have about the collective bargaining agreements.