Your Rights: Weingarten, Garrity, Kalkines

What Are Weingarten Rights?

All Bargaining Unit Employees of the United States Postal Service have the right to be accompanied by a Union Representative to all interviews with management officials, in which the employee reasonably believes the interview might result in disciplinary action. (e.g. Investigative, Safety, Accident, Mystery Shopper)

The above right is guaranteed by the National Labor Relations Act, reinforced by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1975 in NLRB v. J. Weingarten, and violation of that right has been found to be an Unfair Labor Practice.

Simply stated, your Weingarten Rights provide that you may request and management must provide a Union Representative to accompany you to all interviews that you believe might result in disciplinary action.

However, that right is not automatic. You must exercise your right by notifying management of your desire to have a Union Representative present during an interview. If the management official advises you that no disciplinary action will be initiated against you as a result of the interview, it is not necessary to provide a Union Representative.

Any questions concerning your Weingarten Rights or your rights during a management initiated interview process should be directed to your Chief Grievance Officer or by calling the Local's office for further details.

Your Rights During an OIG Investigation: Garrity and Kalkines

The Postal Service has been transitioning from Postal Inspector investigations to Special Agents in Charge of the Office of Inspector General investigations for over a year now. While Weingarten and Miranda Rights will still be afforded, Special Agents use Kalkine or Garrity warnings in interrogations that everyone should become familiar with.

Garrity Rights:

Protects the employee from having to choose between self incrimination and job forfeiture for failing to cooperate. The individual has the right to not be threatened with discharge in order for the OIG to secure incriminating evidence that would be used against them for arrest and prosecution. Miranda Rights would be applicable here.

Kalkines Rights:

If the individual is given immunity from criminal prosecution, the employee is required to cooperate in the investigation even if the information solicited could be used for discharging the employee.

Special Agents do not have the authority to grant immunity from criminal prosecution. However, if Special Agents provide the form "Administrative Warning: Duty to Cooperate" that means that the OIG has obtained such a waiver of prosecution.