All union members are entitled to workplace rights. These workplace rights help you receive a fair and unbiased evaluation, discipline and work place environment. If you are called in for an investigation for an incident at work, you are entitled to union represenation. We highly recommend you do not answer or participate in any interrogation until your union represenative is present. Your employer can NOT deny your right to representation.
We have hilighted your workplace rights below. If you are actively working in a suppression role, i.e. firefighter, you are covered by the Firefighter Bill of Rights. If you are working as an single cert EMT or Paramedic, you are covered by the Weingartner Rights.
Firefighter Bill of Rights:
112.82 Rights of firefighters.—Whenever a firefighter is subjected to an interrogation, such interrogation shall be conducted pursuant to the terms of this section.
(1) The interrogation shall take place at the facility where the investigating officer is assigned, or at the facility which has jurisdiction over the place where the incident under investigation allegedly occurred, as designated by the investigating officer.
(2) No firefighter shall be subjected to interrogation without first receiving written notice of sufficient detail of the investigation in order to reasonably apprise the firefighter of the nature of the investigation. The firefighter shall be informed beforehand of the names of all complainants.
(3) All interrogations shall be conducted at a reasonable time of day, preferably when the firefighter is on duty, unless the importance of the interrogation or investigation is of such a nature that immediate action is required.
(4) The firefighter under investigation shall be informed of the name, rank, and unit or command of the officer in charge of the investigation, the interrogators, and all persons present during any interrogation.
(5) Interrogation sessions shall be of reasonable duration and the firefighter shall be permitted reasonable periods for rest and personal necessities.
(6) The firefighter being interrogated shall not be subjected to offensive language or offered any incentive as an inducement to answer any questions.
(7) A complete record of any interrogation shall be made, and if a transcript of such interrogation is made, the firefighter under investigation shall be entitled to a copy without charge. Such record may be electronically recorded.
(8) An employee or officer of an employing agency may represent the agency, and an employee organization may represent any member of a bargaining unit desiring such representation in any proceeding to which this part applies. If a collective bargaining agreement provides for the presence of a representative of the collective bargaining unit during investigations or interrogations, such representative shall be allowed to be present.
(9) No firefighter shall be discharged, disciplined, demoted, denied promotion or seniority, transferred, reassigned, or otherwise disciplined or discriminated against in regard to his or her employment, or be threatened with any such treatment as retaliation for or by reason solely of his or her exercise of any of the rights granted or protected by this part.
Weingartner Rights (Paramedics & EMT's operating as EMS only)
When an investigatory interview occurs, the following rules apply:
Rule 1 - The employee must make a clear request for Union representation before or during the interview. The employee can't be punished for making this request.
Rule 2 - After the employee makes the request, the supervisor has 3 options. S/he mug either:
Grant the request and delay the interview until the Union representative arrives and has a chance to consult privately with the employee: or
Deny the request and end the interview immediately; or
Give the employee a Choice of: 1)having the interview without representation or 2) ending the interview
- If the supervisor denies the request and continues to ask questions, this is an unfair labor practice and the employee has a right to refuse to answer. The employee cannot be disciplined for such refusal but is required to sit there until the supervisor terminates the interview. Leaving before this happens may constitute punishable insubordination.
Union Representative's Rights Under Weingarten
You are not required to merely be 'silent witness'. You have the right to:
be informed by the supervisor of the subject matter of the interview
take the employee aside for a private conference before questioning begins
speak during the interview
request that the supervisor clarify a question so that what is being asked is understood
give employee advice on how to answer a question
provide additional information to the supervisor at the end of the questioning.
You do not have the right to tell the employee not to answer nor, obviously, to give false answers. An employee can be disciplined for refusing to answer questions.
A standard statement to suggest to members is:
"If this discussion could in any way lead to my being disciplined or discharged, request that my Union representative be present at the meeting. Without representation, I choose not to answer any questions."
The employer will be ordered to cease and desist and to post a notice. Discipline that is imposed for insisting on Weingarten
rights will be overturned. Discipline will not be overturned if the discipline was for reasons other than insistence on Weingarten
rights. Although information gained by the Employer from the employee in a meeting during which a breach of Weingarten
rights occurred, may be excluded from a hearing on the matter.
Page Last Updated: Jan 20, 2013 (17:59:16)