THE WEINGARTEN RULE
WEINGARTEN RIGHTS ----An employee’s right to representation
An employee has a right to be represented during an investigatory interview. A supervisor or
human resources representative normally conducts this interview. Should you be called into
such an interview, you should immediately request your union to be present.
What is an investigatory interview? An investigatory interview is any meeting that may
lead to disciplinary action against you. This is a meeting when a supervisor questions an
employee for the express purpose of obtaining information, which could be used as a basis for
discipline. Or any meeting where a supervisor or HR asks an employee to defend his or her
conduct. Investigatory interviews may relate to subjects such as: excessive use of company
equipment, accessing or viewing inappropriate internet sites (pornography, sexually explicit,
or hate sites) on company premises or use of company equipment, absenteeism, drinking,
fiighting, poor attitude, violation of safety rules, accidents, drugs, insubordination, sabotage,
work performance, damage to company property, falsification of records, lateness, theft, or
any violation of work rules or procedures.
What do you do if you are called into a meeting that appears to be investigatory? Ask
that the meeting be ended until you can speak with your SPEEA Council Rep and have them
present at the meeting. Be clear and to the point in your request for union representation.
You cannot be punished for making this request.
What are the company’s options after you make such a request? The company can
either; 1) grant the request and stop the meeting until a union representative arrives; 2) deny
the request and end the interview immediately; or 3) give the employee the choice of either
having the interview without representation or ending the interview immediately.
What happens if the supervisor (or HR) denies the request for union representation
and continues to ask questions? He or she is committing an unfair labor practice and the
employee has the right to refuse to answer the questions. The employee cannot be punished
for such a refusal. Please keep in mind, this is a stressful situation. The employee
should remain absolute, but continue to conduct him/herself in a professional manner.
How shall I get ahold of my Council Rep? If you don’t know how to reach your
Council Rep, ask the HR representative the name of your Council Rep. The HR
representative should know this information. If your Council Rep is not available, feel
free to call another Council Rep that you know or call SPEEA Headquarters at (206)
433-0991 and ask for a Contract Administrator.
Seattle Hall –  433.0991 | Everett Hall  355.2883 | Wichita Hall  682.0262 | www.speea.org