Know Your Rights

As a union member, you have certain rights in the workplace. If you are called into an investigatory or information-gathering meeting with a supervisor where you have reason to believe that discipline may result, be sure to follow these steps.

First and foremost, call your union!

What to Say:

“If this discussion could in any way lead to my being disciplined, terminated, or affect my personal working conditions, I respectfully request that my union representative, officer or building representative be present. Until my representative arrives, I choose not to participate in this interview."

  • Respectfully refuse to answer questions until your union representation arrives.
    The district does not have a legal right to continue questioning without a union representative present after this request is made. Remain in the meeting until it ends.

Other Rights in the Workplace

As an educator and public employee, your job is governed by different entities that protect you. Our union makes sure that you are treated as a professional. The union ensures that your rights as a worker are upheld, the rules at our jobs are enforced, and that we are treated fairly.

Employment Rights

  • If you are the victim of harassment, unfair treatment, or other discrimination at work, OEA can help you navigate this experience.
  • If you have a dispute regarding your contract or rights as a union member, OEA will work to enforce your contract.
  • The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) enforces employer compliance with wage and hour laws, civil rights law, and terms and conditions of employment. If you are not receiving owed compensation, OEA will work with BOLI to ensure your contract is upheld.
  • If you are facing an investigation by the Teacher Standards and Practices Commission (TSPC), OEA will provide an attorney to represent you.
  • If you are facing discipline or discharge from your position, your union will work to ensure that due process is followed and your rights are respected.
  • You are entitled to a 30 minute duty-free lunch break. If you don’t receive this break, your union can help!

Related Issues

  • If you are injured on the job, OEA can help you access the workers’ compensation process.
  • If you lose your job, you may have access to certain benefits as unemployment insurance and COBRA health insurance. Your union can help you secure these benefits.
  • As a new educator, you may have questions about the probationary period. OEA can help you navigate this time.
  • If you have questions about the professional evaluation process, OEA will help ensure that proper district and contractual processes are being followed.