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 other administration for an unspecified reason, you should exercise these rights. First, ask the principal or admin to clarify the reason for the meeting. You cannot refuse to attend a meeting called by your principal—to do so would be insubordination. However, you should be informed about the purpose of the meeting. If the meeting becomes disciplinary in nature, you are entitled to LTA representation upon your request. (Your principal might not tell you this.) The choice of representative is up to you. It is your right as a dues-paying LTA bargaining unit 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.

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

  • Any type of disciplinary action
  • Investigative meeting
  • Reprimand
  • Infraction of a work rule or board policy
  • Questions concerning requests or uses of leave
  • Allegations of abuse
  • Parental, student or community complaint

For your convenience, your LTA building reps have Weingarten Rights cards. If you would like one, just ask. Refer to this card whenever your principal or supervisor requests a meeting with you.