Know Your Rights Training
On May 7th, HANNON LAW GROUP participated in a Know Your Rights training at the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #1. Partner, Ann-Kathryn So, provided an overview of the rights of law enforcement officers, union members, and union representatives. Associates, Gemma Forest and Patrick Burke, shared presentations reviewing Weingarten rights and the recent legislative actions in Maryland with a focus on House Bill 0670. If you would like a copy of the presentations, please send your request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Know Your Rights
What you should know and use as an officer, union member, or union leader:
- Collective Bargaining Agreement
- Options (oral reply, written reply, appeal rights etc.)
- Management Rights
- It is a team effort
- Never go into any meeting or interview that could potentially lead to discipline without asking for a Union Rep or an Attorney or both whenever possible.
- If you are:
- Involved in an incident (on-or off-duty) and/or;
- Notified of an interview and/or;
- Identified to participate in an investigation (internal or external) and/or;
- Are served with discipline.
- GET REPRESENTATION IMMEDIATELY
- Often, there is a very short window and your rights & those of your members depend on your actions.
Weingarten Rights provide employees who are members of a bargaining unit the right to Union representation during a criminal or an administrative investigation interview.
Five Components of Weingarten Rights
- Union representation
- Reasonable Belief
- Disciplinary Action
- When an “investigatory” interview occurs, the Union member has a right, which must be granted by the employer, to have a Union representative attend the interview with the Union Member.
- An employer is under no obligation to notify the Union member of the right to have a Union Representative present.
- The Union member must ask for a Union representative in order for the Weingarten rights to be respected by the employer.
Legislative Action and the Effect on Law Enforcement
Maryland’s 2021 Legislative Actions, in general and with specific review of House Bill 0670:
- Educational Loans
- Traffic & Other Stops Procedures
- Whistleblower Protections
- Repealed the Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights
- The New Administrative Process
- County Police Accountability Boards (Review and Appoint)
- County Charging Committees (Investigate and Recommend)
- Agency Head (Deciding official with limited authority to modify recommended administrative action.)
- County Trial Boards (Appeals)
- Police Training & Standards Commission
- Collective Bargaining
- House Bill 0670 prohibits an Agency from altering any of the requirements or disciplinary processes outlined above through collective bargaining.
D.C. City Council Proposed 2021 Legislative Actions
- Collective Bargaining
- The “Comprehensive Policing and Justice Reform Emergency Amendment Act of 2021” Section L would prohibit “All matters pertaining to discipline of sworn law enforcement personnel” from being negotiated. The right on how to discipline officers would be the exclusive right of management.