Ok folks, I have preached the gospel of Virginia employment law for many years, and no one is listening.

“Right to Work State provides” almost NO protection to Virginia employees.

“Right to Work” is limited to unions. Under Virginia law, here are your rights directly related to the Commonwealth being a “Right to work state:”

Va Code section 40.1-59:
Any agreement or combination between any employer and any labor union or labor organization whereby persons not members of such union or organization shall be denied the right to work for the employer, or whereby such membership is made a condition of employment or continuation of employment by such employer, or whereby any such union or organization acquires an employment monopoly in any enterprise, is hereby declared to be against public policy and an illegal combination or conspiracy.


§ 40.1-62. Employer not to require payment of union dues, etc.
No employer shall require any person, as a condition of employment or continuation of employment, to pay any dues, fees or other charges of any kind to any labor union or labor organization.

That’s it folks. That is all “right to work” means.

  • It does not mean you cannot be fired.
  • It does not mean you have an EEOC claims because you were.
  • It does not mean anything beyond protection for not wanting to pay union dues.

Please share this information with your friends. I would hate for thousands of people to continue under this bubble of misinformation and think they have some protection at work that does not exist.

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