IMPORTANT: The Union has 14 calendar days to file a grievance from the date of incident. Please don't wait until the 14th day to contact us.
If you need Union representation whether its for a workplace issue or some type of disciplinary action, like a letter of warning, here are a few things you should know.
1. Contact your shop steward immediately. If there is no shop steward in the office, contact the Branch Office immediately.
2. Be prepared to write a statement and explain in detail what the workplace issue is.
3. Be prepared to identify any potential witnesses
4. Don't wait until the 14th day to contact us. Contact us right away. We have 14 calendar days from the date of incident to file a grievance. Issues take time to investigate. We need time to request the appropriate information, review the information, interview witnesses etc.
5. Don't wait until a Branch Officer or Area Steward does a monthly visit to inform us of an issue that is going on in the office. Please let your Shop Steward or Branch Officer know immediately.
Federal labor law, in what is known as the Weingarten rule, gives each employee the right to representation during any investigatory interview which he or she reasonably believes may lead to discipline. (NLRB v. J. Weingarten, U.S. Supreme Court, 1975)
Here are things to know in the event the employer wants to conduct an investigative interview for alleged misconduct.
1. If your manager informs you they are going to conduct an investigative interview which could lead to disciplinary action, ask for a Shop Steward immediately. If your Steward is not there contact the Branch Office immediately. (Same rule applies for interviews with the Postal Inspectors and OIG)
2. Find out exactly what the allegation is that the employer is making against you.
3. Talk to your shop steward before going in for an investigative interview.
4. When the employer is conducting the interview, only answer the question that is being asked. Do not give the employer any extra information.
5. If your manager refuses to provide you Union representation, inform your manager that you are not going to answer any questions without any representation. You cannot get in trouble for refusing to participate in a investigative interview without Union representation. If the employer refuses to provide you Union representation for an investigative interview, contact the Branch Office immediately.
IMPORTANT: Your manager is not required to automatically provide you Union representation when they conduct an investigative interview. You have to ask for the Union representation. If your manager brings you in the office and does not inform you that it is a investigative interview and starts asking you questions in which you think could lead to discipline, inform your manager immediately that you are not going to answer any questions without Union representation present.