The Weingarten Card

A landmark decision by the United States Supreme Court ruled that every employee represented by any labor union and are summoned for an investigatory meeting can ask for a steward or union officer to be present during the meeting. It is necessary to receive the protections granted by Weingarten and for which it is necessary for the employee to ask for a rightful representative.

However, most of the Weingarten union members are unaware of the new Weingarten ruling. They don’t even know about their rights, which is why every union member should have a mandatory Weingarten card with them at all times. When the member has a Weingarten card, they can ask for a “Weingarten representative” without apprehensiveness. This also shows that the person is well aware of visiting the meeting alone with management or having a professional union representative.

Weingarten Card

 Print the Weingarten decision after the investigatory meeting, the union officers and stewards need to print the Weingarten decision to pass on their members. This is mostly done by the union officers who understand the importance of the Weingarten decision. The person can ask the authorities to print the Weingarten decision on the back of their business cards.

There are different types of Weingarten cards, like Pre-printed and Customized Weingarten cards. There are different types of Weingarten cards- pre-printed and Customised with the information printed and the person’s name and address printed on them. These Weingarten cards are similar to a business card’s size and can easily fit into a wallet or a purse. The Weingarten cards are affordable and are essential for every member to own one, considering the protections by the Weingarten decision for the members. 

Weingarten is different from Miranda, another landmark Supreme Court case region. The officers/members of Weingarten don’t require a notice during an investigatory interview. This means that no employer needs to inform their employees that they possess rights to Union representation. This means that the union and the steward should educate their membership by explaining the rights they have.

Many employers issue union contracts in their language, like ‘The employer is well aware of the employee’s right to be given a representation by any steward, or a professional during an investigatory interview. The employer will also remind employees about rights during the time that they are summoned for an investigatory interview.’ Many local unions offer members with wallet-sized cards that have the following information: ‘If this discussion may in any way lead to my being disciplined or terminated, or affect my working conditions, I will respectfully request that my union representative, officer, or steward be present during the time of the meeting. Until my representative arrives, I have the right not to choose to participate in this discussion.’ The Weingarten Cards (either in English or Spanish) can be ordered easily through the Teamsters Education Department.

It is up to the members to insist on the union representation for a card. If they in any way fail to do the same, they may be waived off their rights. To ensure they have a proper investigatory meeting without hassling their rights, they should ensure the following:

  • Ask their supervisor on the purpose of the investigatory interview and ask if they might be disciplined due to it.
  • If the answer is no, then it is mandatory to ask for a written statement to that effect.
  • Employees need to participate in the interview only after receiving the statement.
  • If the employees don’t receive the statement, they should read them their Weingarten rights, wait for the meeting, take down notes, and contact the union representative.
  • If they are informed that they will be disciplined but won’t be allowed to connect to a union representative, the employee must read them their Weingarten rights and be in the meeting room, take down notes and not respond to anything.
  • Employees should immediately contact their union representative after the investigatory meeting.
  • Suppose the meeting supervisors allow the employee to have a union representative or a professional to be present during the interview. In that case, they can go forward and participate in the interview.
Jane Harper
Writer. Human resources expert and consultant. Follow @thehrdigest on Twitter

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