AFGE Local 476

Your Weingarten Rights

If you think a conversation with management may lead to disciplinary action, ask for a Local 476 steward or officer. It's your "Weingarten right."

You can ask at any time in the discussion that your Union representative be present. Your Union is here to support you.

But YOU have to ask. Management does not have to tell you about this right.

This is one of your "Weingarten Rights," named for a Supreme Court decision, NLRB v. J. Weingarten, Inc. (1975). It applies to investigative interviews where you are asked to answer questions that you think may lead to a disciplinary action. You do not have the be the subject of an investigation.

The Weingarten case was based on a lawsuit that resulted from a lunch counter employee, Laura Collins, being accused of stealing. Her employer claimed that she had taken a large box of chicken but had paid for only a small box. Collins had actually taken only four pieces of chicken--the amount that goes in a small box--but put them in a large box because there were no more small boxes. Collins was cleared of any charges of wrongdoing. During her interview with the manager and a loss prevention specialist, Collins had asked several times for her union rep or shop steward. Her management would not permit this. Management asked her not to tell anyone about the interview, but Collins told her shop steward about it and the union filed an unfair labor practice charge against the company. When the matter reached the Supreme Court, the Court decided that an employee is entitled to union representation for investigatory interviews.

Weingarten Card
Click for a printable Weingarten card.

If you are asked to answer questions, and you think that the discussion could lead to discipline, you should ask for a Union representative or officer. You do not have to put your request in writing. Keep our handy Weingarten card in your wallet so you remember what to say!

You have the right to:

You do not have the right to:

Once you ask for a Union representative, the supervisor or investigator must:

Your representative may:

You representative may not: