Did you know anytime you are faced with disciplinary action you may (highly recommended) request a Union Representative? Just tell your supervisor you want a union representative at any point during the disciplinary process, i.e., investigation, proposal letter, reply to the warden. See Weingarten Rights.
All Bargaining Unit Employees of the Bureau of Prisons have the right to be accompanied by a Union Representative to all interviews with management officials, in which the employee reasonably believes the interview might result in disciplinary action (e.g. Investigative, Safety, Accident) to include when they tell you are "NOT THE SUBJECT OF THE INVESTIGATION".
The above right is guaranteed in the 1975 U.S. Supreme Court decision, NLRB v. J. Weingarten, and violation of that right has been found to be an Unfair Labor Practice. Simply stated, your Weingarten Rights provide that you may request, and management must provide, a Union Representative to accompany you to all interviews that you believe might result in disciplinary action.
Your Rights During an OIG Investigation:
While Weingarten and Miranda Rights will still be afforded, Special Agents use Kalkine or Garrity warnings in interrogations that everyone should become familiar with.
Garrity Rights: This is a voluntary interview. Always request a Union Representative and do not answer any questions. You can leave the interview if they inform you that this is a voluntary statement. Do not go forward until that has been explained and you have signed the waiver and assurance form from OIG. Protects the employee from having to choose between self incrimination and job forfeiture for failing to cooperate. The individual has the right to not be threatened with discharge in order for the OIG to secure incriminating evidence that would be used against them for arrest and prosecution. Miranda Rights would be applicable here.
Kalkines Rights: If the individual is given immunity from criminal prosecution, the employee is required to cooperate in the investigation even if the information solicited could be used for discharging the employee. Special Agents do not have the authority to grant immunity from criminal prosecution. However, if Special Agents provide the form "Administrative Warning: Duty to Cooperate" that means that the OIG has obtained such a waiver of prosecution.
As a reminder, AFGE Local 720 wants to remind all bargaining staff of their right to a union representative during any examination that could lead to disciplinary action. This includes Office of Inspector General (OIG), Office of Internal Affairs (OIA) and Special Investigative Services (SIS). The agency does not pick the representative, the union does. The agency also has an obligation to inform you of your right to union representation prior to any examination that they know could lead to diciplinary action, that's even if you don't ask for it, they still must tell you of your right. See Weingarten Rights above.
Do not fall for the old line "Well, you're not the subject of the investigation." Ask them to call the union president. The Union is the one who assigns representation.
Contact the Union Office at 812-238-3499 or any other union representative if you have any questions.