Questions and Answers about Unions


Can my employer make me join a union?
No. Virginia is a "Right to Work" state. This means that your employer can not require you to join or remain a member of a union.
Can my employer prevent me from becoming a member of a union?
No. By law, an employer can not prevent you from becoming a member of a union.
As a union member, do I have any rights?
Yes. Under the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act, if you belong to union, you have certain rights. You have the right participate as fully and equally as any other member (this means that you have the right to vote, attend meetings and access union publications). You have the right to essential information (this includes financial reports, union contracts and bylaws). You have the right to free speech. You have the right to free assembly.
As a worker, do I have any rights?
You might. If you qualify for it, the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) protects your right to (1) form a union, (2) join a union, (3) assist a union in organizing and (4) engage in group activities intended to raise wages or improve working conditions. But not everyone qualifies for the NLRA.
Do I qualify for the National Labor Relations Act?
You will qualify so long as you are NOT an agricultural laborer, an independent contractor, a supervisor, working in someone's home as a domestic worker, employed by your parent or spouse, a government employee, or working for someone who is not an employer under the NLRA. If you have questions about whether you qualify for the NLRA, you should contact an attorney.
Last Review and Update: Aug 10, 2004
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