This right deals with an employee's right to union representation during investigatory interviews.
Under this ruling, employees having a reasonable belief that discipline or other adverse consequences may result from what he/she says have the right to union representation.
You have the right to the presence of a union official whenever you are requested or required to give a statement, which could result in your discipline or discharge.
The rules generally are
1. The employee must make a clear request for a union rep. before or during the interview. Following the request, the employer MUST do one of three things.
-Grant the request and wait until the rep. and employee have had a chance to talk privately.
-Deny the request and end the interview immediately.
-Give the employee the option of having the interview without a rep. or ending the interview.
2. Unless you request the presence of a union official you will be deemed to have waived that right.
3. Prior to, or during your interrogation, you may review any reports or statements you may have made on the subject of your interrogation.
-During the interrogation, you may consult with your Union Representative in the absence of the interrogator.
A good statement to bring with you if you’re called in is this:
If this discussion could in any way lead to my being disciplined, or affect my personal working conditions, I respectfully request that my union representative, officer, or steward be present at the meeting. Without representation I choose not to answer any questions.
If the employer denies the request for a union rep. and continues to interrogate the employee it commits a prohibited practice and the employee has a right to refuse to answer.
You cannot be disciplined for asserting this right.
The Supreme Court has upheld the right for you to be assisted and counseled during the interview.
You should know if the Weingarten rules are adhered to your rep. cannot tell you not to answer questions or to lie to the interrogator. You can be disciplined for refusing to answer in these circumstances.
You are not required to answer any questions concerning your off-duty conduct during the interrogation, unless your off-duty conduct involves action regarding your capacity as a police officer.
Deadly use of force
If you are involved in an incident of this type you should take some time for yourself and obtain any medical treatment you may need BEFORE talking to ANYONE, except a lawyer representing YOU.
Council 15 has lawyers on call 24/7 and they will be contacted and respond if needed.
If you are involved in a deadly, or potentially deadly use of force there will be two types of investigation that will happen, sometimes simultaneously, a criminal investigation and an internal investigation. Depending upon which investigation is occurring your rights differ.
You have CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS, particularly the right to be free from compulsory self-incrimination and the right to procedural due process.
You have the right to remain silent and to consult with an attorney.
Do not be afraid to invoke these rights in order to consult with an attorney before speaking with an investigator.
Remember: You may speak with an investigator, but anything you say can be used against you in a criminal proceeding. This has happened at NBPD in the recent past.
If you do elect to speak you may stop at any time.
Council 15 recommends that you do not give ANY voluntary statements.
During an internal investigation you have Garrity Rights that mean that anything you say during an internal investigation cannot be used against in any criminal proceedings.
The rules generally are:
-You must be ordered to answer questions.
-Questions must relate to officer's duties or fitness for duty.
-You must be advised that failure to answer will be considered insubordination and could lead to discipline up to and including termination.
-Must be provided with some degree of immunity from criminal prosecution.
Questions you should ask before giving ANY statements about the incidents are:
-If I refuse to talk can I be disciplined?
-Can that discipline include termination of my employment?
-Are my answers for internal purposes only and not to be used for a criminal investigation?
When ordered to give a statement, begin it with this.
It is my understanding that this report is being made for administrative, internal police department purposes only and will not be used as part of an official or criminal investigation. I make this report after being ordered to do so by lawful supervisory officers. It is my understanding that by refusing to obey an order to write this report that I can be disciplined for insubordination, and that punishment for insubordination can be up to and including termination of employment. This report is made only pursuant to such order and the potential punishment/discipline that can result for failure to obey that order.
In the event you are involved in a deadly or potential deadly use of force incident immediately contact any available union representative.
If none are working, emergency #'s are listed below.
If any officer hears the incident please page the President and/or Vice-president and end the message with 911-911.
Do not leave this up to the officer involved in the incident, they are going through enough to try and remember this.
Upon learning of the deadly force issue Council 15 will be contacted and they will respond a union attorney to represent you.
You should know that Council 15 lawyers will respond and represent you, but in the unfortunate event that criminal charges are filed against you will need to hire your own attorney to represent you during a trial.
Your Union will defend your rights if you request assistance.
If you are ever in doubt of your rights contact a Union rep first!