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High court: Weingarten rights stand; state family leave case on docket

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in Employment Law,FMLA Guidelines,HR Management,Human Resources

It's official: Employees have the right, even in nonunion workplaces, to bring a co-worker as a witness to an investigative meeting that could result in discipline.

Nonunion employees won these so-called Weingarten rights in a key 2000 ruling by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). A federal appeals court upheld the ruling and, in June, the Supreme Court declined to review it. (Epilepsy Foundation of Northeast Ohio v. NLRB [U.S., No. 01-1292, cert. denied, 2002]) (YATL, December 2001)

Key point: You don't have to notify workers that they're allowed to have a co-worker present. You're simply required to grant the request if the employee asks for it. Also, you don't have to let an employee's attorney attend.

FMLA and state workers. The Supreme Court in June also said it will decide a case that asks whether the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) applies to state employers. The justices will take up the case, Nevada Department of Human Resources v. Hibbs, No. 01-1368, during their next term starting in October.

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