Frequently Asked Questions

Issues at work can be complex, so always feel free to call us at the Member Resource Center to walk through your specific situation. We help you find the best path forward in solving your problem and talk through what the best decision for your union is.

Psst…While the Member Resource Center is specialized in answering your workplace questions, don’t forget you can also visit your delegate at work for information and help.

What can the Member Resource Center help me with?

We help you resolve workplace issues and questions, especially when you don’t know who to ask for help!
  • Advice on contract questions
  • Answers to union-related questions, such as your rights as a healthcare worker and union member
  • Advice on handling workplace concerns and disputes
  • Support for delegates
  • Help in filing grievances
We’re here to help you! Give us a call with any of your questions.

I’ve been suspended, pending investigation over an alleged violation of policy. What should I do?

The first thing to do is stay in touch with your manager or supervisor. Investigations are a normal process that employers conduct. Please feel free to call us at the Member Resource Center to keep us up to date and if you need help preparing for the investigation. If you get disciplined, talk to your delegate. Next, call us so we can review the discipline and advise on your ability to file a grievance.

What is an investigation meeting?

Unlike a disciplinary meeting or a grievance meeting, an investigation meeting is a time when the employer is invoking their privilege to investigate an alleged violation of policy. This includes asking you questions about knowing details of what your coworkers or yourself did.

Can I refuse to sign a discipline?

Yes, but we do not advise you to do so. When you are asked to sign disciplinary paperwork, you are signing to acknowledge you were present in this meeting and received the paperwork. 99% of the time you are asked to sign, you are not admitting fault and will not lose your right to file a grievance. Whether or not the disciplinary paperwork includes a section for writing a comment, you should feel free to do so. If you would like to show you will challenge this discipline, sign your name and add this comment: “By signing this, I am not admitting fault and plan to file a grievance on this matter.” By refusing to sign a discipline, you may appear insubordinate and may risk further disciplinary action by your supervisor. The only thing you can do that will challenge this discipline is filing a grievance—not NOT signing. We will help you file grievances.

I have been disciplined, fired, or believe my employer broke my contract or the law. What do I do now?

Talk to your delegate immediately. Then with your delegate, call us at the Member Resource Center to review the event in question and decide together the best course of action.

I got called into my supervisor’s office. What are my rights?

The first thing you should do is ask your supervisor: “Am I being questioned for me or someone else breaking rules?” If the answer is YES, invoke your Weingarten Rights which grants you the right to bring any coworker who is available with you to the questioning. We recommend you bring your delegate. If you are being called into a disciplinary meeting, let your supervisor know you would like to bring a delegate or coworker. Whether you have the right to depends on what is in your contract. Call us at the Member Resource Center to clarify if you have the right to bring a delegate or coworker to this meeting.

What are Weingarten Rights, and how do they work?

You have Weingarten Rights in the case of investigatory meetings. This means any worker who is investigated for alleged violations for something they or other coworkers have been accused of is legally allowed to bring any coworker who is available. We recommend you bring your delegate.

Can management change my hours or shift?

This all depends on a number of factors, including your union contract, the employer's policy, and the circumstances of the situation. We recommend you discuss this specific situation with your delegate and call us at the Member Resource Center so we can help sort through it together.

I’ve been scheduled for mandatory overtime. What do I do?

With your delegate and the Member Resource Center, first review what your contract says about mandatory overtime. The consequence of refusing mandatory overtime is that you may be fired. You have the right to file a complaint and lodge an objection in writing on the spot. You should file an Act 102 complaint with the state using this form. Take note to include the time, date, the conversation had, and the names of witnesses to the conversation. Make a copy of the schedule and previous schedules so you can forward these to the PA Dept. of Labor and Industry. In the moment of being told you’re being mandated, ask these series of questions:
  1. “Who authorized the mandation?”
  2. “When exactly were you aware of this hole in the schedule, and why do you believe it’s an emergency circumstance?”
  3. “Who did you ask when looking for volunteers?” (If the supervisor does not name someone who is working and is trained to do that job, name those people and ask if he/she asked that person)
  4. “Who did you call at home?” (If the supervisor does not name someone who is casual, per diem, or part-time or someone full time who is off, name those people and ask if they were called)
  5. “What staffing agency did you call?” (If they say that the facility does not use an agency, tell them that the law lists use of agency as one of the steps to follow before mandating)
  6. If management answered “We’re telling you, not asking,” make sure to state out loud, preferably around witnesses: “I am only going to work despite my objection, and I believe this is an illegal mandation…I will work because you are telling me to, not because I am volunteering.”
Do NOT sign any papers stating that you are volunteering or waiving any rights to object to the mandation either through a grievance procedure or with the State. If you are forced to sign some form, you can always write: “I am signing this to acknowledge receipt of this form, but am not volunteering to be mandated, and do not waive my right to formally object now or at a later date.”

I’ve been fired. Regardless of filing a grievance, what do I do now that I’m unemployed?

You should file for unemployment as quickly as possible. You can file online here. Please call us at the Member Resource Center if you have any questions.

If I am injured outside of work, am I eligible for workers compensation?

Most likely not, however, you may qualify for FMLA, or short or long-term disability that may be available to you through your employer's policy and/or your union contract. Please talk to your delegate and give us a call at the Member Resource Center!

Can my employer refuse to give me light duty if I request it?

This depends on a number of factors, such as the employer's policy, whether there is available work to be done, and your doctor's recommendations. Since it's a complicated matter, we recommend you discuss it with your delegate and call us at the Member Resource Center.

Can I refuse light duty that is offered to me?

This is also a complicated matter, and depends on a number of factors that need to be weighed out. We recommend you discuss it with your delegate and call us at the Member Resource Center.

What is the Training and Education Fund?

The Training and Education Fund is a comprehensive package of education benefits that can be bargained into Long-Term Care SEIU HCPA Union contracts. We fill gaps in the healthcare training system by creating and delivering engaging, innovative, and tailored educational strategies. We’ve helped dozens of employers and thousands of workers across Pennsylvania improve care, upgrade skills, and reach their goals.

How do my coworkers and I, together as our union, hold our employer accountable to the law and our contract?

You can get together with your delegate and the Member Resource Center to first review your contract and the law. Then, together we can help you decide the best course of action in holding your employer accountable.

How can I get $5,000 for school?

The Training and Education fund offers a Union Education benefit to our members who have this fund bargained into their SEIU HCPA Union contract. This benefit is the most flexible program of its kind. Members receive up to $5,000 in tuition per calendar year to pursue any educational program of their choice. Talk to your Union Representative if you would like to see the Training and Education Fund bargained into your union contract.

How do I find my contract?

Check-in with your chapter president or delegate(s)!

I have a question that’s not answered here.

Feel free to give us a call at the Member Resource Center: 1-800-252-3894.