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‘Witness’ Entitled To Weingarten Representative

Maylee Bardelas is a police officer with the City of Doral, Florida. Bardelas was accused by Sergeant Eric Fernandez of “intentionally driving away from an active shooter scene” and was charged by the Department with “cowardice.” Eventually, the investigation determined that “there was insufficient evidence to substantiate a finding that Bardelas was the officer observed driving away from the incident” and the police chief directed Investigator Glenn Stolzenberg to…

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Weingarten Violation When Employer Ejects Representative From Meeting

Officers with the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections are represented by the Pennsylvania State Corrections Officers Association. In April 2018, Lieutenant Brian Taylor of the Department’s Bureau of Investigations and Intelligence began an investigation into an allegation that an inmate did not receive any food for several days. One of the targets of his investigation was Corrections Officer John Snook. At the start of Taylor’s interview of Snook, Snook requested…

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Q & A

From FloridaQuestion: Does being informed that the employee is a witness in an investigation negate the witness from asking for representation under Weingarten? He reasonably believed that as a witness, he may be subjected to discipline. The employer did not inform or assure the employee that he wouldn’t be, just stated that as a witness, he was not entitled to representation. Does being called a witness cancel the right…

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WEINGARTEN APPLIES TO WRITTEN REPORTS, NOT JUST INTERVIEWS

Adam Lasad is a college security officer for the San Bernardino Community College District Police Department in California. Sergeant Chris Tamayo began questioning Lasad regarding his whereabouts during his work shift. Lasad, after answering some of Tamayo’s questions, requested a representative from his union, the California School Employees Association (CSEA). Tamayo contacted his own boss, Police Chief Pierre Galvez, about Lasad’s request for representation. Galvez agreed that Lasad had…

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What Are The Employer’s Choices When An Employee Asserts Weingarten Rights?

A recent Illinois case analyzed the options available to an employer once an employee who is being interviewed asserts the right to representation under the Weingarten rule. The case involved Elgin Community College police officer Lorie Hermesdorf, who was a member of a bargaining unit represented by the Metropolitan Alliance of Police (MAP). Hermesdorf was the subject of a complaint filed by a citizen alleging that Hermesdorf blocked, pushed…

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‘Ominous Context’ Of Interview Triggers Weingarten Rights

In early 2014, Senior Investigator Donald Oliver of the Office of Special Investigation of the New York Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) began investigating an incident involving the throwing of food by at least one corrections officer at a civilian employee. On January 28, 2014, Oliver questioned the security staff who had been present in the mess hall at the time of the incident, as well as…

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Miranda Warnings Trigger Weingarten Rights

An employee’s right to representation by a labor union arises when the employee reasonably believes that discipline could result from questioning by the employer. There are cases holding that when an employer gives an employee a “Garrity order” – an order to answer questions or discipline will result – Weingarten rights are automatically triggered. A recent Illinois case reached the same “automatic triggering of Weingarten” conclusion with respect to…

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Weingarten Rights Apply To Written Statements

The City of New Haven, Connecticut and Local 825 of the International Association of Fire Fighters are parties to a collective bargaining agreement. In September 2010, Patrick Egan, the president of Local 825, was promoted to Assistant Chief of Administration, a position outside the bargaining unit. Egan was succeeded as president by Lieutenant James Kottage. Kottage considered Egan to be a harsh administrator and relations between the Local and…

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The Interplay Between Garrity And Weingarten

In July 2009, the Internal Affairs Division (IAD) of the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) was investigating allegations of misbehavior against a PSP member. As part of that investigation, IAD interviewed Corporal Edmund Fret. At the outset of the interview, the IAD representative gave Fret a “reverse-Garrity” warning. In the warning, PSP ordered Fret to answer questions, and advised him that his answers and the fruits of his answers would…

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No Weingarten Rights In Texas

The right to union representation in an investigatory interview generally derives from the United States Supreme Court’s decision in NLRB v. Weingarten, 420 U.S. 251 (1975), the seminal case regarding private-sector employee representation rights. In Weingarten, the Court found that Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) granted private-sector employees the right to have a union representative present at an investigatory interview when the employee reasonably believed…

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Q & A

From Arizona Question: Is it legal to require police officers to participate in physical fitness testing with age- and gender-biased standards in order to be eligible for desirable assignments? While the scores of such tests are said not to affect promotion oppurtunity, they are listed on promotion applications and passing the tests is required for select assignments. Service in the select assignments also has a positive effect on promotion…

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Court Finds Weingarten Rights Exist Under Texas Law, Even In Absence Of Collective Bargaining

Unlike most populous states, Texas has no mandatory statewide collective bargaining law. Though local jurisdictions can choose to adopt collective bargaining, most have not. Section 101.001 of the Texas Labor Code does allow employees the right to form “unions and other organizations,” and provides that “all persons engaged in any kind of labor may associate and form trade unions and other organizations to protect themselves in their personal labor…

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New York Court Finds No Weingarten Rights Exist Under State Law

In a case that will likely have less impact than would ordinarily seem to be the case, New York’s highest court has held that Weingarten rights do not exist by function of state collective bargaining law. In a case involving the New York City Transit Authority, the Court drew a distinction between the National Labor Relations Act and New York’s bargaining law, known as the Taylor Law. The Court…

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Major Weingarten Decision Holds Employee Has Right To Choose Representative

In 1975, the United States Supreme Court held in National Labor Relations Board v. J. Weingarten, Inc., 420 U.S. 251, that under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), a union employee enjoys the right to have a union representative join him or her during an investigatory interview the employee reasonably believes may result in discipline. This right of representation, now known as an employee’s Weingarten right, originally applied only…

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