#1  
Unread 07-22-2002, 09:36 AM
Persman
 
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Default EE wants to tape record everything

EE in a 2-strike progressive discipline situation mistrusts supervisors; wants to tape record (with their knowledge) future conversations and meetings. Contends they have lied to EE in the past regarding section processes and procedures and are trying to set EE up for dismissal. EE is high maintenance and it's no secret ER would like to see EE gone, but not willing to risk litigation by doing something inappropriate. EE feels tape recordings will protect against being unfairly dismissed. ER acting properly and not hard over on permitting but has some concerns over co-workers who may not object to being taped but whose input may be stifled in group meetings with ER because conversations being taped. Has anyone encountered similar situation and if so, what was the outcome? Thanks
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  #2  
Unread 07-23-2002, 06:32 AM
Sunny
 
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Default RE: EE wants to tape record everything

We had a recent case of an employee who wanted to tape record a discharge grievance meeting "on advice of my attorney." We refused and responses on this forum supported this action.

I would not let your employee tape record anything unless an attorney advises you that you must. He does, however, have the right to the presence of a co-worker at any disciplinary meeting. You don't have to suggest this to him, of course, but if he asks that might give him more of a comfort level with the meetings. Sounds like you have a real winner - good luck.

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  #3  
Unread 07-23-2002, 07:06 AM
Don D
 
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Default RE: EE wants to tape record everything

I agree with Sunny. Have had several make this request but have complied with none and will not. There are absolutely no circumstances under which I would allow an ee to record anything in a disciplinary meeting, period. It's your meeting, not his, and you set the parameters. Consider for a minute that you have allowed him to tape the meeting. half way through your first couple of opening statements, here it comes, "Scuse me, let me go back a minute here, can you repeat that and speak a little plainer please." Once you give up control of the parameters of the meeting, you've lost control of the meeting. Even though it's his responsibility to request a coworker's presence (even if non-union), I would suggest it just to move forward. When you open, the third party should be instructed that he plays no role, has no authority to comment or object, only to be present. Don't let this character run your day or ruin your day. He's also guilty of insubordination if, once given the rules of YOUR meeting, he refuses to participate, walks out or otherwise won't allow you to proceed with the intention of the meeting.
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  #4  
Unread 07-23-2002, 09:55 AM
Margaret Morford
 
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Default RE: EE wants to tape record everything

I wanted to add something to what Sunny says. The employee has the right to have a co-worker at any investigative meeting that may lead to disciplinary action for the employee being interviewed. However, once the employer has finished the investigation, the employee does not have Weingarten rights to have someone at the actual discipline conference.

Margaret Morford
theHRedge
615-371-8200
mmorford@mleesmith.com
http://www.thehredge.net
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  #5  
Unread 07-23-2002, 10:38 AM
Don D
 
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Default RE: EE wants to tape record everything

Margaret: Are you real sure about that? My interraction with NLRA as recently redefined by the courts on this subject indicates that the ee has this right anytime there is "any meeting which may result in discipline". How do you stretch that to mean the first meeting but not the second? This, if true, is very significant. Thanks, Don
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  #6  
Unread 07-23-2002, 11:55 AM
Paul in Cannon Beach
 
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Default RE: EE wants to tape record everything

[font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON 07-23-02 AT 05:58PM (CST)[/font][p]You don't have to allow the employee tape record your meetings as far as I know. I would question the employee's allegation about dishonesty and ask for some evidence.

Interestingly, it is probably legal for the employee to secretly tape record your conversation without you knowing it (at least in Oregon). According to what I could find out, only one party needs to be aware of the recording. So, you couldnt record a conversation between two people who didn't know you were recording them but you could record one between you and someone else even if they are unaware.

I hate the sound of my voice on tape recorder anyways.

paulknoch@hotmail.com
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  #7  
Unread 07-24-2002, 03:02 PM
Margaret Morford
 
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Default RE: EE wants to tape record everything

Don D,

I think you and I are saying the same thing. The meeting in which the employer does not have to permit the employee a representive is when the investigation has been completed and the company has determined what discipline will be issued to the employee. In other words, it's a done deal. For example, an employee is accused of sexual harassment. The accused harasser may have a fellow employee in any meetings where the employer is trying to determine what happened. Now, all the facts are in and the company determines that the accused did indeed harass someone. The company meets with the employee to issue whatever discipline it deems appropriate to address the harassment. It's the last meeting where the employee doesn't get a representative because it is no longer investigatory in nature. Hope that clears up my answer. Thanks for asking and giving me a chance to clarify.

Margaret Morford
theHRedge
615-371-8200
mmorford@mleesmith.com
http://www.thehredge.net
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  #8  
Unread 07-25-2002, 08:37 AM
Margaret Morford
 
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Default RE: EE wants to tape record everything

Don D and I have had a conversation going off-line about this issue and I wanted to come back to the Forum and tell everyone the outcome so that we don't mislead anyone. When I was discussing Weingarten Rights (right of an employee to have someone present during meetings with anyone in authority), I was talking about the newest trend which is to expand the Weingarten decision to include non-union employees. Don was going at it from the standpoint of an employee who belongs to a union. We were both correct, but talking about two different fact situations.

When the employeee is non-union Weingarten Rights are far more restrictive. However, you can never go wrong letting the employee have someone present if you control the situation. I would not let the employee have anybody but a fellow co-worker. This avoids the irrate spouse or employee's attorney. Also, this person does not get to participate in the meeting, ask questions, etc. This observer can talk to the employee, but you should stop them every time they try to participate with you. There's a great HRHero article that Christy put on the home page a few weeks back on non-union Weingarten Rights written by Julie Athey. If you'll go to the search box at the left and put in "weingarten rights", it'll pop right up. Hope that helps you all. We have Don D to thank for the fact that he persisted until all of this got clarified.

Margaret Morford
theHRedge
615-371-8200
mmorford@mleesmith.com
http://www.thehredge.net
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