While you are employed by a company, regardless of whether you have a contract of employment, you are not to compete with that employer, as a matter of Virginia Common law.


  • Work in a used car lot – open your own on the side and tell customers about your great deals
  • Work for commercial contractor and do contracting work on the side – tell clients you could out bid the work and do it yourself cheaper
  • Home Health Nurse – who gets paid to sit for Ms. Susan, offers Ms. Susan’s family a cheaper rate for additional hours not through the agency

Now. Whether it seems fair or not, you are not to compete with your employer while you are still working for him.

If you do – they can fire you, sue you and ask for money damages.

So please, think before you apply, offer, act or try to sell your services on the side. You don’t want to end up in Court, contract or not, for breach of fiduciary duty.

Lauren Ellerman
Lauren Ellerman

In 2011, Lauren Ellerman was named "Young Lawyer of the Year" by the Roanoke Bar Association for her work in the community. To speak with Lauren about your personal injury case, contact her at