Weingarten Rights (Private Sector)
If you are called into a meeting with any management representative and have reason to believe that disciplinary action may result, read them your Weingarten rights:
"If this discussion could in any way lead to my being disciplined or terminated, or affect my personal working conditions, I respectfully request that my union representative or steward be present at this meeting. If this discussion could lead to my being disciplined and you deny my request for representation, I choose not to answer any questions."
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the 1975 Weingarten decision that an employee is entitled to have a union representative present during any interview which may result in his or her discipline. It is up to YOU to insist upon union representation. If you fail to do so, you may waive your rights.
Garrity Rights for Public Sector Employees
- Garrity Rights protect public employees from being compelled to incriminate themselves during investigatory interviews conducted by their employers. This protection stems from the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which declares that the government cannot compel a person to be a witness against him/herself.
- For a public employee, the employer is the government itself. When questioned by their employer, they are being questioned by the government. Therefore, the Fifth Amendment applies to that interrogation if it is related to potentially criminal conduct.
- Garrity Rights stem not just from the Fifth Amendment, but also the Fourteenth Amendment. While the Fifth Amendment could be said to apply only to the federal government, the "equal protection" clause of the Fourteenth Amendment makes the Fifth Amendment applicable to state, county, and municipal governments as well (determined by the United States Supreme Court in 1964's Malloy v. Hogan)
- Garrity Rights originate from a 1967 United States Supreme Court decision, Garrity v. New Jersey.