Know your Weingarten rights

Thirty years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court protected unionized workers’ rights to due process during questioning by a supervisor. The case, NLRB v. J. Weingarten, has come to define what’s known as your Weingarten rights. If you are asked to attend a meeting with your principal or supervisor for an unspecified reason, you should exercise these rights.

First, ask the principal or supervisor to clarify the reason for the meeting. You cannot refuse to attend a meeting called by your principal-to do so would be insubordination. But, if the meeting becomes disciplinary in nature, you are entitled to CEA representation upon your request. (Your principal does not have to tell you this.)

The choice of representative is up to you. You can request an FR from your building or a staff consultant from CEA. This is your right as a dues-paying CEA member. Your administrator should never arrange for representation on your behalf.

Once you request representation, the administrator is obligated to arrange the meeting at a time when the representative can attend. Section 404.01 of the Master Agreement provides members with a maximum of five school days to reschedule the meeting to accommodate this representative.

CEA suggests representation any time the purpose of the meeting is one of the following:

  • Any type of disciplinary action
  • Investigation meeting
  • Reprimand
  • Infraction of a work rule or board policy
  • Questions concerning request or use of leave (personal or sick)
  • Allegations of abuse
  • Parental, student or community complaint

If you have further questions, call CEA at 253-4731.