“If this discussion could in any way lead to my being disciplined or terminated or have any effect on my personal working conditions, I respectfully request that my Union Steward, Representative or Officer be present at this meeting. Without Union Representation, I choose not to participate in this discussion.”
The above statement is all you should say to request a Shop Steward when called into a Manager’s office to discuss any topic that may lead to discipline. Some topics of discipline could include absenteeism/tardiness, interactions with guests/customers or co-workers, following safety procedures, cash handling procedures or many other topics. Having a Shop Steward present can help to ensure your rights are being asserted. Under the law, Shop Stewards can:
- Insist management state the purpose of the interview prior to it beginning so that you understand exactly what the discussion is about.
- Speak with you privately before, during and after the interview including when making any verbal or written witness statement.
- Speak during the interview to clarify questions, object to improper questioning, advise you on how to answer any and all questions from management, and provide additional information at the conclusion of the interview for additional background on the interview topic.
Shop Stewards cannot tell you not to answer questions or to give false answers.
Under the law, your Employer Representatives, including any member of Management (even if they are not your direct Manager) or Security personnel, cannot question you prior to your Shop Steward arriving to the interview. The person conducting the interview on behalf of the Company cannot infringe on your rights to representation. Employer Representatives cannot prevent you from taking time to privately discuss the answer to a question with your Shop Steward prior to answering, refuse to state the purpose of questioning prior to it beginning, stop Shop Stewards from clarifying questions or providing additional information. If management refuses to allow any of the above to happen, the only statement you should make is: “I have no statement at this time due to management’s presence which is a violation of my rights”. All of these rights apply to both written and verbal statements.
If you feel your rights have not been followed, contact your Union Representative immediately.
UNITE HERE Local 362 1255 LaQuinta Drive, Suite 212, Orlando, FL32809 Telephone: (407) 851-0626 or (800) 468-0626 Fax: (407) 851-6607