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NOAA Workforce Management Office

Serving NOAA's Most Valuable Asset - People


Exclusive Bargaining Unit Rights


WFMO Representation Rights - 2012 NOAA Broadcast email

Weingarten Rights - An Employee's Right to Union Representation

Supervisors and managers have every right to communicate with their employees, but when it comes to questioning which could result in discipline, the bargaining unit employee has rights as well.

Weingarten is a short-hand term used to refer to the right of bargaining unit employees to have a union representative present during "investigative interviews" that employees believe could lead to disciplinary action if such representation is requested by the bargaining unit employee. The term Weingarten is drawn from a private sector decision, NLRB v. J. Weingarten, Inc., 420 U.S. 252 (1975). The specific right of federal employees to union assistance during investigative interviews is rooted and spelled out in 5 USC 7114 (a)(2)(B).

This right applies only in investigative interviews, not in regular or routine discussions about work performance or job assignments or other formal discussions. Formal discussions are meetings between representatives of agency management and bargaining unit officials in which the topic(s) under discussion include: "grievances," "personnel policies or practices," or "general conditions of employment." Unions are to be notified in advance of such meetings and afforded an opportunity to attend and participate in them.

Key Points To Remember

Contact your servicing WFM Office for more information.

Page last edited: January 26, 2012

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