How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Patrick, Esq. Your Own Question

Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 8965
Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
Type Your California Employment Law Question Here...
Patrick, Esq. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I work for a company who is threatening to discipline/suspend/terminate

Resolved Question:

I work for a company who is threatening to discipline/suspend/terminate me for refusing to disclose whether or not I will be making a donation to a certain charity (I am NOT making a donation). Is it legal for them to do this? During what I believed to be a disciplinary hearing (according to them it wasn't disciplinary in nature) they said I was "disrespectful" (refused to pay attention or cooperate without my union representative present). I did not verbally state that I wished for my union representative to be present, however, I did present them with a written statement (which was never read) - which clearly demonstrated my desire for my union representative to be present - BEFORE I was suspended. Also, according to my union representative's evaluation of my union contract, in order for me to be suspended, there must be 2 managers present (there wasn't, only one manager and one supervisor) and I must be given paperwork to sign to that effect (I wasn't). What are my options here?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 3 years ago.
Hello and thank you for entrusting me to answer your question. Does your collective bargaining agreement state on what grounds your employer can discipline or terminate you?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I am not sure. What if there is? What if there isn't?
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 3 years ago.
I ask because your employer is obligated to follow whatever procedure and requirements for discipline or termination that it agreed upon in your collective bargaining agreement. Typically, collective bargaining agreements address such issues.

That said, your employer may have violated what are called your "Weingarten rights." Specifically, the U.S. Supreme Court held in NLRB v. J. Weingarten (1975) that unionized employees have the right to have a union representative present during any management investigatory interview. An employee CANNOT be punished for making this request.

The court held that an "investigatory interview" occurs when two things take place: (1) management questions an employee to obtain information AND (2) the employee has a reasonable belief that discipline or other adverse consequences may result. For more information on your Weingarten rights, visit this link:

Violation of your Weingarten rights would give you grounds to contest your termination, and your union should assist you with this process. Also, if your contract requires that two managers be present at an investigatory interview that results in suspension, your company would be committing an actionable breach of your union contract to let you go on those grounds.

I hope this information helps you in deciding what to do. Bear in mind that none of the above constitutes legal advice. Good luck and please remember to click "accept" so that I get paid for my time. Thanks so much.


If my answer has been helpful to you, please click on the GREEN ACCEPT button directly above. I will not get credit for assisting you or receive payment for my work unless you do this. Your question will not close after you click "accept," and you will still be able to ask follow-up questions if necessary.
The only facts I know about your situation are the ones that you tell me, so please try to be specific and bear in mind that, occasionally, miscommunications will occur. I will do everything I can to clarify my answer if I have misunderstood your question. Also bear in mind that the law does not always read how we think it should. I ask that you be understanding if an opinion I have provided is not consistent with what you wanted to hear.
Finally, the information that I have provided is not legal advice. I am not acting as your attorney and my answer does not establish an attorney-client relationship between us. I encourage you to consult with a local attorney in regard to legal matters.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
But were my weingarten rights violated even though I didn't verbally ask for a union representative but put it in a written statement that they refused to read? For instance, I've been told by some people that I must VERBALLY ask for a union representative, that a written statement isn't good enough. They weren't aware of my request. They refused to read the statement because they got angry at my refusal to cooperate which they perceived as rudeness. Keep in mind, this all took place very quickly, less than a minute.
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 3 years ago.
Weingarten requests can typically be made in writing. In fact, a written request is preferable in the sense that you have recorded proof of what you've done. Provided that the written request was timely and you made reasonable efforts to get your employer to read it, that would likely be sufficient to trigger your Weingarten rights. Whether you made such reasonable efforts, however, is likely to be considered a "question of fact" ultimately within the provence of a jury to decide.

I hope that this helps clarify. Please, if you can, remember to click "accept" so that I get credit for my answer. Thanks again.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 8965
Experience: Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
Patrick, Esq. and other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
< Previous | Next >
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
  • It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem. Tony Apopka, FL
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK

Meet The Experts:

  • LawTalk


    Satisfied Customers:

    I have 30 years of experience in the practice of law, including employment law and discrimination law.
< Last | Next >
  • LawTalk's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    I have 30 years of experience in the practice of law, including employment law and discrimination law.
  • Tina's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    JD, 17 years experience & recognized by ABA for excellence in employment law.
  • Brandon, Esq.'s Avatar

    Brandon, Esq.


    Satisfied Customers:

    Has received a certificate of recognition from the California State Senate for his outstanding legal service.
  • melissamesq's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    Represent clients to maximum recovery in employment cases.
  • /img/opt/shirt.png Legal Counsel's Avatar

    Legal Counsel


    Satisfied Customers:

    California Licensed Attorney- 29 years- Wages, Hours, Overtime, Discrimination, Wrongful Termination.
  • Ely's Avatar


    Counselor at Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.

Related California Employment Law Questions