Texas Supreme Court: No Right To Union Representation During Questioning

Apr 6, 2013

A divided Texas Supreme Court has ruled that Texas public workers who belong to unions have no right to having a union representative with them when they're questioned during internal investigations.

The justices ruled 6-3 that a Round Rock firefighter disciplined in 2008 doesn't share the right conferred on unionized private-sector workers under a 1975 U.S. Supreme Court ruling. Congress conferred similar rights to federal employees shortly thereafter.

However, the Texas Supreme Court majority reversed a lower-court ruling that state workers share such rights under state labor law that allows union membership.

Dissenting with that majority were Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson and Justices Nathan Hecht and Debra Lehrmann. The dissent says that, "In Texas, after today, state and local government employees must go it alone."

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.