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Non-Union Employees Have No Weingarten Right
Employment & Labor Practice Team

In an important decision affecting all non-union employers, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) recently reversed itself when it concluded that employees at non-union companies have no right to have a co-worker present during an investigatory interview.

Under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), union employees are entitled to have a co-worker present during investigatory interviews that they reasonably believe could result in their discipline.  This right to have a co-worker present is often referred to as an employee’s ‘Weingarten right,’ after the Supreme Court case which first recognized that right.

The NLRB commented that a "relatively new fact of industrial life is the need for employers to conduct all kinds of investigations . . . prevent sexual and racial harassment, to avoid use of toxic chemicals, to provide a drug-free and violence-free workplace, to resolve issues involving employees health matters and the like . . . . Employer investigations into these matters require discretion and confidentiality."

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Non-Union Employees Have No Weingarten Right