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Can I bring a lawyer to an HR meeting?

Can I bring a lawyer to an HR meeting?

Can I bring a lawyer to an HR meeting? Answer: Sometimes yes, mostly no, and possibly more so in the future.


  1. If you are part of a labor union; and
  2. You are meeting with HR because they want to question you as part of an investigation; and
  3. You reasonably believe you may be disciplined because of the investigation; and
  4. You request representation,

you can have a union representative with you during the meeting. These are your Weingarten Rights (from Weingarten, Inc. v. NLRB, 420 U.S. 251) (1975).

Can that representative be a lawyer? Yes, but it must be the union’s lawyer, not your attorney. Also, you are not entitled to a representative for a disciplinary meeting, only an investigatory meeting that may lead to disciplinary action against you.


Most employees in the US are not union members. If you aren’t in a labor union, you do not have Weingarten Rights.


As the presidential administration, so goes the nonunion employee representation.

Since the Clinton Administration in 2000, NLRB decisions and NLRB Office of the General Counsel memoranda have flip-flopped on nonunion employee Weingarten Rights depending on which party controls the Executive Branch.

We have a Democratic Party president now, and on March 31, 2021, the NLRB Office of the General Counsel issued a memorandum stating its commitment to enforcing the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) through vigorous enforcement of mutual aid or protection and inherently concerted doctrines. Translation: the Biden Administration is taking a broad view of the rights and protections for nonunion employees under the NLRA. We can expect some formal action on Weingarten Rights to come along shortly.

Even when that happens, nonunion employees will not be able to bring a lawyer to any investigatory meeting. The representative must be a co-worker or it isn’t mutual aid or protection. A union lawyer can represent a union member because the union lawyer is a union representative too.

Contact our employment attorneys in Fairfield, Connecticut at Carey & Associates P.C. at 203-255-4150 or

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