In 1975 the United States Supreme Court, in the case of NLRB v. J. Weingarten, Inc., 420 U.S. 251 (1975), upheld a NLRB decision that employees have a right to union representation at investigatory interviews. These rights have become known as the Weingarten Rights.
During an investigatory interview, the Supreme Court ruled that the following rules apply:
RULE 1: The employee must make a clear request for union representation before or during the interview. The employee cannot be punished for making this request.
RULE 2: After the employee makes the request, the employer must choose from among three options. The Employer must either:grant the request and delay questioning until the union representative arrives and has a chance to consult privately with the employee; deny the request and end the interview immediately; or give the employee a choice of having the interview without representation or ending the interview.
RULE 3: If the employer denies the request for union representation, and continues to ask questions, it commits an unfair labor practice and the employee has a right to refuse to answer. The employer may not discipline the employee for such a refusal.