AND DISCIPLINARY MEETINGS
AND THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THEM
An investigatory meeting takes place when a management or a security person meets with an employee, usually to obtain facts about an issue in question. Sometimes it means the employee will ultimately be disciplined, or it could mean that he/she is being questioned to obtain facts only, and whenthe meeting is over, the employee will hear nothing else from the company.
These types of meetings are covered under the "Weingarten Act." This act involved a Supreme Court ruling in 1975 which allows a union representative the opportunity to be present with an employee during this type of meeting. These are items in which your union steward can be of assistance during an investigatory meeting:
These are the Weingarten rules:
Do not let a management
or security individual intimidate you during one of these type of meetings,
which is often a tactic especially used by security, who is specially
trained in this area. These are your rights. Be assertive and know them!
Many managers do not even know about Weingarten rights.
A disciplinary meeting is a meeting where some type of disciplinary action will be taken/announced. The union steward is only with you to act as a witness and ask clarifying questions. Your CWA contract guarantees you the right to have union representation at a disciplinary meeting, but again, you must request it if management does not offer.
The steward is not there to hear the grievance or argue with management at a disciplinary meeting. That will come later when the grievance, when you file one, is heard. In other words, the steward has fewer rights at this type of meeting than at an investigatory meeting.
Please--we cannot express enough to everyone how important it is that you are educated in these types of meetings, and that you request union representation at them. It is so vitally important that a union rep be present in order to help with the grievance proceedings later, to act as a witness, and even to be there as moral support for you. Ask the company before you are taken into any meeting if it is investigatory or disciplinary--they are obligated to tell you. Do not ASK them if you need union representation, TELL them you demand it!