If the supervisor denies the request and continues to ask questions, this is an Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) and the employee has a right to refuse to answer. A union member cannot be disciplined for such refusal, but it is required to sit there until management terminates the interview. Leaving before this happens, may constitute punishable insubordination. Delegates and/or shop stewards must inform members that if management ignores a union members Weingarten Rights, the union member should refuse to respond and must stay in the room to hear the manager out. The union member should write detailed notes stating that he or she requested a delegate (steward) and the request was denied followed by writing down the questions that management asked so they can be referred to later by the delegate or business agent. Once you leave the meeting, contact the delegate (steward) immediately to file a grievance for Unfair Labor Practice.
If a union member advises the union that they requested union representation and it was denied, an Unfair Labor Practice(ULP) charge should be filed with you respective union leadership. If the union wins a decision with the Independent Chairman (IC), management will have to post a notice and hopefully will learn that Weingarten Rights must be granted. I know this sounds like a slap on the wrist and it is, but it is advantageous to have this on file to refer to in the future. Management that breaks union rules losses credibility in any future actions that may arise. This does nothing to console the member whose rights were violated but in most cases will get any discipline overturned.
There are exceptions. If management refuses an employee’s request for union representation and gets the union member to confess to theft or any gross violations of company standards and gets fired, there is a strong chance that even through the grievance process that the union members termination could still be upheld. This is why a member once making their Weingarten Protection Statement to management should remain quiet and write down anything said by management until you are dismissed by management.
Please refer to the Weingarten Protection Statement for what to say to management if you are ever questioned in an investigatory interview.
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