National Labor Relations Board v. J. Weingarten, Inc.

PETITIONER: National Labor Relations Board
RESPONDENT: J. Weingarten, Inc.
LOCATION: 169th Judicial District Court of Texas

DOCKET NO.: 73-1363
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1972-1975)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

CITATION: 420 US 251 (1975)
ARGUED: Nov 18, 1974
DECIDED: Feb 19, 1975

ADVOCATES:
Neil Martin - for respondent
Patrick Hardin - for petitioner

Facts of the case

Question

Media for National Labor Relations Board v. J. Weingarten, Inc.

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - November 18, 1974 in National Labor Relations Board v. J. Weingarten, Inc.

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - February 19, 1975 in National Labor Relations Board v. J. Weingarten, Inc.

William J. Brennan, Jr.:

The last two cases are 73-765, International Garment Workers v. Quality Manufacturing Co. and 73-1363, National Labor Relations Board v. Weingarten.

The first on cert from the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and the second on certiorari from the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

They are companion cases presenting the same question namely, whether an employer commits an unfair labor practice by refusing an employee's request that the employee be accompanied by a union representative at an interview with the employer that the employee reasonably believes may result in disciplinary action.

In quality, the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and in Weingarten, the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit held that the employer did not commit an unfair labor practice in such cases.

We disagree and reverse the judgment of each Court of Appeals.

We hold that it was within the competence of the Board to find that although some earlier Board precedents may be read as reaching a contrary conclusion.

The Board's accumulating experience with the problems justified its holding that the employer's refusal constituted an unfair labor practice in violation of Section 8 (a) (1) as an interference with the right of the employee protected by Section 7 to engage in concerted activities for mutual aid or protection.

The Chief Justice dissents and has filed a dissenting opinion.

Mr. Justice Powell also dissents and joined by Mr. Justice Stewart, has filed a dissenting opinion.

Warren E. Burger:

Thank you Mr. Justice Brennan.