United Airlines AFA MEC Website

Association of Flight Attendants-CWA United Master Executive Council

Return to Your Rights as an Employee

Your Right to a Witness

Our Contract gives us a right to a witness of our choice present in any discussion, with more than one management person, which may lead to disciplinary action. In fact, the company must advise you of this right. You have a reasonable length of time (not to exceed 24 hours) to obtain your witness. Do not allow the company to select a Flight Attendant of their choice for convenience. You may delay the discussion until you find a witness who is satisfactory to you provided you do not exceed 24 hours to obtain this person.

Though the Contract provides a right to a witness when more than one management person is present, it is advisable to request representation even in a one-on-one situation. If your request is refused, notify your Local Council Grievance Chairperson as soon as possible. One exception to the 24-hour rule would be if the evidence would disappear with time, i.e., being under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In such a case the employee may be required to obtain a witness more promptly. In all other cases, however, you are entitled to 24 hours to obtain the witness of your choice. A System Board Decision, MEC 1-79, states that the employee must be allowed up to 24 hours to obtain a witness even if the company wishes to complete a suitcase search prior to trip departure. Your right to a witness supersedes the company's wish to avoid replacing you on the trip. In such a case, you would be removed from the trip with pay.

If there is a question about your right to have a witness, refer to Section 26.F.6. of our Contract. Also, inform your Local Council Representative at once if this representation is denied.

Return to Your Rights as an Employee