Investigative and Formal discussions, Weingarten rights

The American Federation Of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 2113 is the "exclusive representative" for employees assigned to the NAWCTSD.

Under the Federal Labor Relations Management law, union representatives, as exclusive representatives, have the right to be present at two types of meetings between agency managers and employees.

One of them, identified in the law as "formal discussions," provides the union with the right to be present when an agency representative (e.g., supervisor or manager) is discussing personnel policies, practices, or working conditions with one or more employees, or is discussing an active grievance or appeal. Management is required to notify the union in advance when holding formal discussions so the union can choose its own representative. So, if you are called into a formal discussion meeting and do not see your union representative, ask why. The union's presence at a formal discussion concerning general working conditions brings a global perspective to the meeting.

The second, identified in the law as investigative or "Weingarten" discussions, involves the right of bargaining-unit employees to have a union representative present when being questioned on a matter that could potentially lead to discipline.

In order to qualify as a genuine investigative/Weingarten situation, all of the 5 specific elements or conditions listed below must be met:

  1. A bargaining-unit employee is being, or is about to be, questioned.
  2. The person(s) doing the questioning is a representative of agency management.
  3. The nature of the discusion is or will be investigative.
  4. The employee being questioned could harbor a reasonable fear that the discussion will or could lead to disciplianry or adverse action.
  5. The employee(s) involved asks for the assistance of a union representative.
Remember: All that is required is that you request to have a union representative present.

At that point management must end the discussion, offer the employee the alternative of either continuing the discussion without a representative or halting the questioning until the union representative arrives.

For more details concerning these subjects, check the Stewards' page or contact your Union Official.
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This page is under construction and was last updated on May 5, 2001