Q. I run a large restaurant and employ only nonunion workers. Recently, I called one of the waiters into my office to issue him a warning for arriving late for his shifts. He told me he had a right to have one of the cooks there witness our exchange. Is he right?
A. Your employee is wrong. While you may want to make an example of your tardy waiter in front of the rest of your staff, you are not required to honor his request. The National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) current position is that nonunionized, private-sector employers are not obligated to permit their employees to have a co-worker present during disciplinary actions. This is due, in part, to the fact that single nonunion co-workers cannot represent the interests of the entire work force, as does a union representative.
Keep in mind that the NLRB’s position on this issue has shifted more than once over the years.