WHAT TO DO IF YOU HAVE A DISCIPLINE PROBLEM AT WORK
Updated On: Nov 19, 2008
You may encounter different types of problems at work which require assistance or advice. The following is meant to be a guide in resolving these situations.
What should you do if you are called into the office? If you believe that you are being called into a supervior's office for the purpose of discipline or to defend your conduct you are entitled, as a union member, to be represented.
SHOP FLOOR CONVERSATIONS
Not every discussion with management is an investigatory interview. For example, a supervisor may speak to an employee about the proper way to do a job. Even if the supervisor asks the employee questions, this is not an investigatory interview because the possibility of discipline is remote.
A routine conversation changes character if a supervisor becomes dissatisfied with an employee and takes a hostile attitude. If this happens the meeting could well result in discipline and you should ask for your Union Representative.
There are those times when a supervisor is gathering some information, but if you believe that the investigatory interview could lead to discipline, other adverse consequences, or to defend your conduct, you have a right to make a request for representation and should do so. You may feel intimidated by a supervisor or someone else trained in interrogation techniques or they may try to coerce you into confessing to a wrong-doing.
For all of these reasons you should request union representation. You must make a clear request for union representation (you cannot be punished for making this request). After you have made the request the employer must:
Grant the request and delay questioning until a Union Representative arrives, or
Deny the request and end the interview immediately, or
Offer you the choice to continue the meeting without a Union Representative. It would be best to wait until you have representation so that you have the benefit of someone trained to handle such a situation.
If the employer denies the request for union representation and continues to ask questions, he has commiteed an unfair labor practice; you have a right to refuse to answer and cannot be disciplined for such refusal. You must, however, make the request to be represented by the Union.
When a supervisor calls an employee to the office to announce a warning or issue discipline, this would not constitute an investigatory interview as the supervisor is informing the employee of a previous decision of management. However, if the supervisor asks questions that are related to the incident which resulted in the discipline, it then becomes an investigatory interview to which you are entitled to union representation upon your request.
The Union Representative or Steward can provide assistance and counsel you during the interview as well as speak up for you during the interview
BEWARE OF SIGNING ANY COMPANY DOCUMENTS
If your employer asks you to sign any document relative to a disciplinary matter or that could adversely affect your job, be careful.
Most of the time the best course of action is not to sign any document without first discussing it with your Union Representative.