Your Rights at Work

Your Rights at Work

Whether you are organizing the union for the first time or already working under contract, YOU HAVE RIGHTS AT WORK!

Here’s a quick guide to your rights including:

  • Your right to form a union
  • Your right to union representation (“Weingarten Rights”)
  • Your right to fairness at work (Seven Principles of Just Cause)


You have the right to form a union at work.  It’s illegal for your employer to intimidate, discriminate, or otherwise interfere with your decision.

Management CANNOT:

  1. Threaten to fire, discharge, or punish you for engaging in union activity.
  2. Change your work assignments, your work environment, or working conditions with the intention of firing you based on your support for unionization.
  3. Give special favors or concessions to employees who speak out against the union, and they cannot promise promotions to employees who initially support and then oppose forming a union.
  4. Prevent union representatives from talking with employees during non-working hours.
  5. Ask about confidential union matters, including union meetings, union representatives, or the union itself.
  6. Ask you whether or not you belong to a union or actively support forming a union.
  7. Threaten or coerce you in an attempt to influence your union support.
  8. Make threats regarding the discontinuation of benefits, wages, vacations, or job security should you and your fellow employees form a union.


In 1975, the Supreme Court ruled that employees have the right to union representation at interviews that could lead to the employee being disciplined or fired.This case put in place rules known as Weingarten Rights.Here’s what they mean for you:

1.The employee must make a clear request for representation before or during the interview. The employee cannot be punished for making this request.But if you don’t request representation, you could be giving up your rights. If your boss calls you in for discipline, read them your rights!

2.After the employee makes the request, the employer must choose from three options:

  • Grant the request and delay questioning until Union representation arrives and has a chance to consult privately with the employee.
  • Deny the request and end the interview immediately.
  • Let the employee choose between having the interview without representation or ending the interview.

3.If the employer denies the request for Union representation and continues to ask questions, they commit an unfair labor practice and the employee has a right to refuse to answer. The employer may not discipline the employee for refusal.


Below are the “Seven Principles of Just Cause” that every employer must meet in order to issue discipline or terminate an employee.  If the answer to any of these questions is no, management does not have just cause for discipline.

1.Notice: Did the employee know that they were in violation of a rule or regulation?

2.Reasonable:  Was the rule or regulation violated reasonable? Was it related to the orderly, efficient, and safe operation of the business and the performance they might reasonably expect?

3.Investigation: Did management make an effort to discover whether you violated a rule before disciplining you?Was there an investigation? What took place during the investigation?

4.Fairness: Was the investigation fair and objective?

5.Evidence:  Did management have enough evidence to show that you were guilty as charged?

6.Equal Treatment:  Has everyone been treated this way in the past?Have the rules been applied fairly to everyone?

7.Appropriate Penalty: Is the penalty a fair and appropriate response to what was done wrong?