One area that has been left to the states is the protection of a worker's right to join or not to join a union. Like many states, Virginia has a law that protects this right. Such laws are commonly known as “right-to-work” laws. The Virginia law bars any contract that requires a worker, as a condition of continued employment, to join a union (VA Code Sec. 40.1-58et seq.). This law also prohibits employers from discharging an employee because he or she has joined a union (Norfolk Airport Authority v. Nordwall, 436 S.E.2d 436 (VA 1993)).
Union dues. Employers are prohibited from requiring employees to pay dues, fees, or other charges of any kind to any labor union or labor organization as a condition of employment or a continuation of employment (VA Code Sec. 40.1-62).
Employers are prohibited from requiring employees to refrain from membership in, or holding office in, any labor union or labor organization as a condition of employment or continuation of employment (VA Code Sec. 40.1-61).
Contracts in which an employee pledges to avoid union membership as a condition of employment (so-called “yellow dog” contracts) are void and against public policy in many states. Virginia law, however, does not contain an express prohibition of yellow dog contracts.