UFCW Local 135

Know Your Rights


Your Right to Representation

You have the right to union representation if you are called to a meeting with management that could lead to discipline.

Weingarten rights were won in a 1975 Supreme Court decision with these basic guidelines:

  • You must make a clear request for union representation either before or during the interview. Managers do not have to inform employees of their rights.
  • Management cannot retaliate against an employee for requesting a representation.
  • Management must delay questioning until the union representative arrives.
  • It is against Federal Law for management to deny an employee’s request for a union rep and continue with an interrogation. In this case, an employee can refuse to answer management’s questions.


Read Word for Word to Your Supervisor

If this discussion, meeting or telephone call could in any way be related to my being disciplined or terminated or affect any of my working conditions, I exercise my federal rights and hereby request that my union representative be present. Without their presence, I choose not to participate in this discussion or meeting. Please do not request that I waive this right.

Your union contract provides you with Just Cause protections in the event you are disciplined. The Just Cause standard protects union-represented employees from arbitrary or unfair disciplinary action.

Answering “No” to any of the following questions normally means the Employer does not have just and proper cause.


If you believe you have received discipline, speak to your Union Representative or our Contracts and Grievances Department at (619) 298-7772 ext. 9.


The Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA) gives you the right to take leave for medical reasons or to care for a sick family member. You are covered by FMLA if you are:

  • I have worked for my employer for 1+ year, I have 1250+ hours of service in the past year.
  • 50+ employees work within 75 mile radius.

You can apply for PFL benefits in two ways:

  • Online by visiting edd.ca.gov/SDI_Online.
  • By mail by requesting a Claim for Paid Family Leave (PFL) Benefits, DE 2501F form at edd.ca.gov/Forms
  • You’ll need to provide the name of your employer and the date you want your claim to begin
  • FMLA provides 12 weeks within one year of the child’s birth adoption or start of foster care OR because of a serious pregnancy-related medical condition.
  • You will not lose your job while on leave. You will be reinstated to your same or comparable job notwithstanding layoffs, etc.
  • You will not lose seniority.
  • Notify your employer 30 days’ prior if possible.

Other Frequently Asked Questions about FMLA:

A serious health condition includes:

  1. on or off-the-job injuries and illnesses that incapacitate you or a family member for more than three consecutive calendar days;
  2. chronic health conditions; and
  3. pregnancy.

Absences due to serious health conditions are protected even if they are as short as a day or a part of a day. For instance, if you suffer migraines, you might miss part of a day one month and be out for a full day the next month. You may suffer from a chronic back condition that flares up requiring you to stay home one day in January, four days in April, and half a day in September. This can qualify as FMLA.

If eligible, you could receive approximately 60 to 70 percent of your weekly salary (from $50 to $1,216). Your employer may allow you to use vacation, sick, paid time off, or other leave to supplement your PFL benefits to receive up to 100 percent pay. The length of time worked at your current job does not affect eligibility. The Employment Development Department (EDD) provides an online calculator at edd.ca.gov/ PFL_Calculator to help estimate your weekly benefit amount.

You do not need to mention FMLA when requesting a leave, but you must explain the reasons for the needed leave, so your employer is aware that your leave falls within an FMLA category. Calling in with “a headache” is not sufficient but calling in and stating that you have a migraine is. Your employer can require certification of a serious health condition.

Questions? Contact us at (619) 298-7772 ext. 9.