News

Investigations Leading to Discipline: Your Rights

You are entitled to HOA representation during any investigation that could result in discipline or termination.

The HOA discusses your rights as a union member at orientation.  However, it is the Board's opinion that orientation is an overwhelming time and that as newly hired employees, you are saturated with information and may not clearly remember your rights.  

Additionally, you most likely feel that this would never happen to you.  For the majority of you that is true, but for a growing number, it is not. 

Union representation during a disciplinary investigation is achieved by invoking your Weingarten Rights.  Ask for HOA Representation before answering any questions.  Assume you need representation, regardless of what an authority figure might tell you.

Garrity Rights protect public employees from being compelled to incriminate themselves during investigatory interviews conducted by their employers.  This protection stems from the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which declares that the government cannot compel a person to be a witness against him/herself.   

For a public employee, the employer is the government itself.  When questioned by your employer, you are being questioned by the government.  Therefore, the Fifth Amendment applies to that interrogation if it is related to potentially criminal conduct. 

When a meeting is requested by an individual that you believe has influence over disciplinary decisions, and the purpose of said meeting is undisclosed, even after you have asked what the meeting pertains to, you should call the HOA Office X69205 or contact a Board member.

The electronic footprint you leave behind may not be your own, but another colleague who decided to get creative under your log in credentials.  Lock or log off any terminals when stepping away. 

Please refrain from inappropriate emails which remain on UMHS servers.  This is a matter of professionalism and some of the exchanges could be misinterpreted.

Below is the link to a document you may be asked to sign at the on-set of a Compliance Office investigation.  Do not sign any document that may incriminate you, regardless of what an authority figure tells you. 

Audit of Access Cover Memorandum