|Wisconsin Council 40|
Sometimes issues arise which will require the assistance of an attorney. Council 40 has established a relationship with law firms who have specialized knowledge on these issues which effect our members Read more >>>
Launch of Garrity Rights Web Site
"Garrity Rights" protect public employees from being compelled to incriminate themselves during investigatory interviews conducted by their employers. Even under the new legal framework in Wisconsin, public employees still have Garrity Rights.
The “Loudermill” hearing is part of the "due process" requirement that must be provided to a government employee prior to removing or impacting the employment property right (e.g. imposing severe discipline). The purpose of a "Loudermill hearing" is to provide an employee an opportunity to present his side of the story before the employer makes a decision on discipline. Prior to the hearing, the employee must be given a Loudermill letter -- i.e. specific written notice of the charges and an explanation of the employer's evidence so that the employee can provide a meaningful response and an opportunity to correct factual mistakes in the investigation and to address the type of discipline being considered. (read more)
Public employees have certain constitutional rights that apply in their employment that may not apply to private employees. For example, in Garrity v. New Jersey, the Supreme Court held that statements obtained in the course of an investigatory interview under threat of termination from public employment couldn’t be used as evidence against the employee in subsequent criminal proceedings. If, however, you refuse to answer questions after you have been assured that your statements cannot be used against you in a subsequent criminal proceeding, the refusal to answer questions thereafter may lead to the imposition of discipline for insubordination. Further, while the statements you make may not be used against you in a subsequent criminal proceeding, they can still form the basis for discipline on the underlying work-related charge. (more)
Almost twenty years ago a counter clerk who worked for a J. Weingarten store in Houston, Texas, was questioned by her Employer for alleged theft. Although she was cleared in the investigation, she had been denied, after several requests, the presence of her Shop Steward during the questioning. The Union representing her filed an unfair labor practice after the incident and, in 1975, the Supreme Court ruled in the Union's favor. An important new right for workers emerged from this decision: An employee may be represented by the Union at an investigatory interview with his/her employer when the employee reasonably believes that the interview may lead to disciplinary action. (more)
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