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WA Weingarten

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  • WA Weingarten

    I work for a public employer in Washington State who's position is that Weingarten Rights only apply to pre-disciplinary meetings that have a notice of proposed discipline that could financially disaffect the employee (suspension or termination). They do allow Union representation for pre-disciplinary meetings that do not have the potential to financially disaffect an employee, but maintain that this is done as a courtesy on their part and it is not a union member's right.

  • #2
    Thank you for sharing that. Do you have a question?
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.


    • #3
      WA Weingarten

      Is there any truth to the employer's claim?


      • #4
        imho your employer is incorrect (maybe incomplete is a better description) in their interperetation of the law

        If an employee has a reasonable belief that discipline or other adverse consequences may result from what he or she says, the employee has the right to request union representation. Management is not required to inform the employee of his/her Weingarten rights; it is the employees responsibility to know and request

        a bit more in depth explanation here:

        the key here imho is that the only thing that has to happen to put weingarten "into effect" is the employee has to believe that the result of the conversation could be diciplinary action (or other adverse consequences)
        Last edited by noiddodge; 05-12-2006, 02:30 PM.


        • #5
          Weingarten rights have nothing to do with whether or not the employee will suffer a financial detriment. While it is plausible that possible discipline may have a negative financial impact on the employee, it is by no means sole test of whether Weingarten applies.

          If this is indeed the belief and practice of this public employer, then I believe their interpretation of the law makes it vulnerable to a charge of unfair labor practice.


          • #6
            I think they may be confused with Loudermille hearing (pre-disciplinary meeting). I think they only have to hold one for potential suspension or discharge.


            • #7
              Possibly, but still a misinterpretaion in my opinion.

              Under Loudermill, the employee is entitled to 1) notice of the charge(s) against him/her 2) an explanation of the evidence in support of the charge(s) and 3) an opportunity to be heard on the charge

              Of course, the employee is not required to be heard and the union may speak on his/her behalf.

              Perhaps, most important, the employer is obligated to inform the employer of his/her rights under Loudermill.

              Whether or not a "hearing" is required will likely depend on the CBA and any applicable state statutes.


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