When meetings are convened by University management for the purpose of investigating facts which the employee believes could reasonably lead to disciplinary action, an employee is entitled to have a representative present at the meeting if he or she requests one. All University employees are entitled to representation in this type of circumstance. Routine meetings called to discuss performance issues, including evaluations or work instructions, do not give rise to employee representational rights.
The right to be represented also exists at all stages of grievance procedures under University policies and collective bargaining agreements. Most collective bargaining agreements, and our practice at UCSB regarding all staff, recognize the employee's right to be represented in meetings called to attempt informal resolution of an employee relations matter.
The point at which representational rights apply may not be clear. The issue may arise during a meeting in which you do not contemplate disciplinary action, but the employee's reasonable belief, based on past circumstances or the course of the meeting, is that discipline may be an outcome. In these circumstances, an employee has the right to the presence of a representative before continuing with the meeting. Employee & Labor Relations advises supervisors to address the representational issue before proceeding; consequently, you should postpone the meeting until the representational issue can be resolved. If an employee requests a representative, please contact Employee & Labor Relations before taking any further action. Note: Management has no obligation to ask an employee if s/he would like a representative present at a meeting.
The established practice at UCSB is for Employee & Labor Relations to coordinate and be present at meetings with employees and their representatives. We ask that you keep Employee & Labor Relations informed of plans to meet with employees under these circumstances. You should also contact us whenever an employee representative contacts you directly for a meeting or shows up unexpectedly and asks to participate in a meeting with you and the employee.
Please contact Employee & Labor Relations if an employee representational question arises or for other questions or comments about employee representation.