Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 40.1. Labor and Employment
Chapter 4. Labor Unions, Strikes, Etc
3/4/2021

Chapter 4. Labor Unions, Strikes, Etc.

Article 1. In General.

§ 40.1-52. Authority of labor unions to own, encumber and sell real estate.

The trustees of any unincorporated association organized for mutual benefit and chartered as a labor union for the purpose of collective bargaining and other lawful functions of labor unions, as defined by the laws of this Commonwealth, and having a duly authorized charter as a local labor union, from either a state or national labor organization, shall have the right to own, possess, improve, sell or mortgage real estate. Such real estate can be acquired for any lawful purpose whatsoever.

Property acquired by an unincorporated association under the provisions of this section can be sold, mortgaged or the title transferred by such trustees in the same manner and to the same extent as if such trustees were natural persons acting for themselves in their individual capacity, under the laws of this Commonwealth.

The provisions of this section shall apply to any real estate acquired prior to July 1, 1997, by any such unincorporated association, provided such real estate is real estate that could be legally acquired by such unincorporated association, if acquired after such date.

Code 1950, § 40-63; 1966, c. 382; 1970, c. 321; 1997, c. 761.

§ 40.1-53. Preventing persons from pursuing lawful vocations, etc.; illegal picketing; injunction.

No person shall singly or in concert with others interfere or attempt to interfere with another in the exercise of his right to work or to enter upon the performance of any lawful vocation by the use of force, threats of violence or intimidation, or by the use of insulting or threatening language directed toward such person, to induce or attempt to induce him to quit his employment or refrain from seeking employment.

No person shall engage in picketing by force or violence, or picket alone or in concert with others in such manner as to obstruct or interfere with free ingress or egress to and from any premises, or obstruct or interfere with free use of public streets, sidewalks or other public ways.

Any person violating any of the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and punished accordingly.

Notwithstanding the punishments herein provided any court of general equity jurisdiction may enjoin picketing prohibited by this section, and in addition thereto, may enjoin any picketing or interference with lawful picketing when necessary to prevent disorder, restrain coercion, protect life or property, or promote the general welfare.

Code 1950, § 40-64; 1952, c. 674; 1970, c. 321; 1974, c. 254.

§ 40.1-54. Payment of certain charges by carriers or shippers to or for benefit of labor organization.

(1) As used in this section, the term "labor organization" means any organization of any kind, or any agency or employee representation committee or plan, in which employees participate and which exists for the purpose, in whole or in part, of dealing with employers concerning grievances, labor disputes, wages, rates of pay, hours of employment, or conditions of work.

(2) It shall be unlawful for any carrier or shipper of property, or any association of such carriers or shippers, to agree to pay, or to pay, to or for the benefit of a labor organization, directly or indirectly, any charge by reason of the placing upon, delivery to, or movement by rail, or by a railroad car, of a motor vehicle, trailer, or container which is also capable of being moved or propelled upon the highways, and any such agreement shall be void and unenforceable.

(3) It shall be unlawful for any labor organization to accept or receive from any carrier or shipper of property, or any association of such carriers or shippers, any payment described above.

(4) Any corporation, association, organization, firm or person who agrees to pay, or who does pay, or who agrees to receive, or who does receive, any payment described hereinabove shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be fined not less than $100 nor more than $1,000 for each offense. Each act of violation, and each day during which such an agreement remains in effect, shall constitute a separate offense.

Code 1950, § 40-64.1; 1962, c. 376; 1970, c. 321.

§ 40.1-54.1. Public policy as to strikes and work stoppages at hospitals.

It is hereby declared to be the public policy of the Commonwealth that hospitals shall be free from strikes, and work stoppages.

Code 1950, § 40-64.2; 1970, c. 720.

§ 40.1-54.2. Strikes and work stoppages at hospitals prohibited; penalty.

No employee of any hospital shall engage in any strike or work stoppage at such hospital which in any way interferes with the operation of such hospital.

Any person violating any of the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and punished accordingly.

Notwithstanding the penalties herein provided, any court of general equity jurisdiction may enjoin conduct proscribed by this section.

Code 1950, § 40-64.3; 1970, c. 720.

§ 40.1-54.3. Right to vote by secret ballot on labor organization representation.

A. As used in this section, "labor organization" means any organization of any kind, or any agency or employee representation committee or plan, in which employees participate and that exists for the purpose, in whole or in part, of dealing with employers concerning grievances, labor disputes, wages, rates of pay, hours of employment, or conditions of work.

B. In any procedure providing for the designation, selection, or authorization of a labor organization to represent employees, the right of an individual employee to vote by secret ballot in such a procedure is a fundamental right that shall be guaranteed from infringement.

2013, c. 484.

Article 2. Strikes by Government Employees.

§ 40.1-55. (Effective until May 1, 2021) Employee striking terminates, and becomes temporarily ineligible for, public employment.

Any employee of the Commonwealth, or of any county, city, town or other political subdivision thereof, or of any agency of any one of them, who, in concert with two or more other such employees, for the purpose of obstructing, impeding or suspending any activity or operation of his employing agency or any other governmental agency, strikes or willfully refuses to perform the duties of his employment shall, by such action, be deemed to have terminated his employment and shall thereafter be ineligible for employment in any position or capacity during the next twelve months by the Commonwealth, or any county, city, town or other political subdivision of the Commonwealth, or by any department or agency of any of them.

Code 1950, § 40-65; 1970, c. 321.

§ 40.1-55. (Effective May 1, 2021) Employee striking terminates, and becomes temporarily ineligible for, public employment.

A. Any employee of the Commonwealth, or of any county, city, town or other political subdivision thereof, or of any agency of any one of them, who, in concert with two or more other such employees, for the purpose of obstructing, impeding or suspending any activity or operation of his employing agency or any other governmental agency, strikes or willfully refuses to perform the duties of his employment shall, by such action, be deemed to have terminated his employment and shall thereafter be ineligible for employment in any position or capacity during the next 12 months by the Commonwealth, or any county, city, town or other political subdivision of the Commonwealth, or by any department or agency of any of them.

B. The provisions of subsection A shall apply to any employee of any county, city, or town or local school board without regard to any local ordinance or resolution adopted pursuant to § 40.1-57.2 by such county, city, or town or school board that authorizes its employees to engage in collective bargaining.

Code 1950, § 40-65; 1970, c. 321; 2020, c. 1276.

§ 40.1-56. Department head, etc., to notify employee of such termination, etc.

In any such case the head of any department of the state government, or the mayor of any city or town, or the chairman of the board of supervisors or other governing body of any county, or the head of any other such employing agency, in which such employee was employed, shall forthwith notify such employee of the fact of the termination of his employment and at the same time serve upon him in person or by registered mail a declaration of his ineligibility for reemployment as before provided. Such declaration shall state the fact upon which the asserted ineligibility is based.

Code 1950, § 40-66; 1970, c. 321.

§ 40.1-57. Appeal by employee from declaration of ineligibility.

In the event that any such employee feels aggrieved by such declaration of ineligibility he may within ninety days after the date thereof appeal to the circuit court of the county or the circuit court of the city in which he was employed by filing a petition therein for a review of the matters of law and fact involved in or pertinent to the declaration of ineligibility. A copy of the petition shall be served upon or sent by registered mail to the official signing the declaration, who may file an answer thereto within ten days after receiving the same. The court or the judge thereof in vacation shall, as promptly as practicable, hear the appeal de novo and notify the employee and the signer of the declaration of ineligibility of the time and place of hearing. The court shall hear such testimony as may be adduced by the respective parties and render judgment in accordance with the law and the evidence. Such judgment shall be final.

Code 1950, § 40-67; 1970, c. 321.

§ 40.1-57.1. Appeal by employer for reemployment of terminated employee.

Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, in the event that the employer of an individual terminated under this article deems it necessary for the protection of the public welfare that such individual be reemployed within the twelve months following his termination, the employer may, within ninety days after the date of the declaration of ineligibility, appeal to the circuit court of the county or the circuit court of the city in which the individual was employed by filing a petition therein setting forth the reasons why the public welfare requires reemployment. A copy of the petition shall be served upon or sent by registered mail to the former employee, who may file an answer therein ten days after receiving the same. The court or the judge thereof in vacation shall notify the employer and former employee of the time and place of the hearing on the appeal, such hearing to be de novo and to be held as promptly as possible. The court shall hear such testimony as may be adduced by the respective parties and render judgment in accordance with the law and the evidence. Such judgment shall be final.

1972, c. 792.

Article 2.1. Collective Bargaining for Governmental Employees.

§ 40.1-57.2. (Effective until May 1, 2021) Prohibition against collective bargaining.

No state, county, municipal, or like governmental officer, agent or governing body is vested with or possesses any authority to recognize any labor union or other employee association as a bargaining agent of any public officers or employees, or to collectively bargain or enter into any collective bargaining contract with any such union or association or its agents with respect to any matter relating to them or their employment or service.

1993, cc. 868, 879.

§ 40.1-57.2. (Effective May 1, 2021) Collective bargaining.

A. No state, county, city, town, or like governmental officer, agent, or governing body is vested with or possesses any authority to recognize any labor union or other employee association as a bargaining agent of any public officers or employees, or to collectively bargain or enter into any collective bargaining contract with any such union or association or its agents with respect to any matter relating to them or their employment or service unless, in the case of a county, city, or town, such authority is provided for or permitted by a local ordinance or by a resolution. Any such ordinance or resolution shall provide for procedures for the certification and decertification of exclusive bargaining representatives, including reasonable public notice and opportunity for labor organizations to intervene in the process for designating an exclusive representative of a bargaining unit. As used in this section, "county, city, or town" includes any local school board, and "public officers or employees" includes employees of a local school board.

B. No ordinance or resolution adopted pursuant to subsection A shall include provisions that restrict the governing body's authority to establish the budget or appropriate funds.

C. For any governing body of a county, city, or town that has not adopted an ordinance or resolution providing for collective bargaining, such governing body shall, within 120 days of receiving certification from a majority of public employees in a unit considered by such employees to be appropriate for the purposes of collective bargaining, take a vote to adopt or not adopt an ordinance or resolution to provide for collective bargaining by such public employees and any other public employees deemed appropriate by the governing body. Nothing in this subsection shall require any governing body to adopt an ordinance or resolution authorizing collective bargaining.

D. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection A regarding a local ordinance or resolution granting or permitting collective bargaining, no officer elected pursuant to Article VII, Section 4 of the Constitution of Virginia or any employee of such officer is vested with or possesses any authority to recognize any labor union or other employee association as a bargaining agent of any public officers or employees, or to collectively bargain or enter into any collective bargaining contract with any such union or association or its agents, with respect to any matter relating to them or their employment or service.

1993, cc. 868, 879; 2020, cc. 1209, 1276.

§ 40.1-57.3. (Effective until May 1, 2021) Certain activities permitted.

Nothing in this article shall be construed to prevent employees of the Commonwealth, its political subdivisions, or of any governmental agency of any of them from forming associations for the purpose of promoting their interests before the employing agency.

1993, cc. 868, 879.

§ 40.1-57.3. (Effective May 1, 2021) Certain activities permitted.

Nothing in this article shall be construed to prevent employees of the Commonwealth, of its political subdivisions, or of any governmental agency of any of them from forming associations for the purpose of promoting their interests before the employing agency and, if they are employees of a county, city, or town or local school board that has, by a local ordinance or resolution as provided in § 40.1-57.2, authorized its employees to engage in collective bargaining, from doing so as provided in such ordinance or resolution.

1993, cc. 868, 879; 2020, cc. 1209, 1276.

Article 3. Denial or Abridgement of Right to Work.

§ 40.1-58. Policy of article.

It is hereby declared to be the public policy of Virginia that the right of persons to work shall not be denied or abridged on account of membership or nonmembership in any labor union or labor organization.

Code 1950, § 40-68; 1970, c. 321.

§ 40.1-58.1. Application of article to public employers and employees.

As used in this article, the words, "person," "persons," "employer," "employees," "union," "labor union," "association," "organization" and "corporation" shall include but not be limited to public employers, public employees and any representative of public employees in this Commonwealth. The application of this article to public employers, public employees and their representatives shall not be construed as modifying in any way the application of § 40.1-55 to government employees.

1973, c. 79.

§ 40.1-59. Agreements or combinations declared unlawful.

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.

Code 1950, § 40-69; 1970, c. 321.

§ 40.1-60. Employers not to require employees to become or remain members of union.

No person shall be required by an employer to become or remain a member of any labor union or labor organization as a condition of employment or continuation of employment by such employer.

Code 1950, § 40-70; 1970, c. 321.

§ 40.1-61. Employers not to require abstention from membership or officeholding in union.

No person shall be required by an employer to abstain or refrain from membership in, or holding office in, any labor union or labor organization as a condition of employment or continuation of employment.

Code 1950, § 40-71; 1970, c. 321; 2002, c. 422.

§ 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.

Code 1950, § 40-72; 1970, c. 321.

§ 40.1-63. Recovery by individual unlawfully denied employment.

Any person who may be denied employment or be deprived of continuation of his employment in violation of §§ 40.1-60, 40.1-61 or § 40.1-62 or of one or more of such sections, shall be entitled to recover from such employer and from any other person, firm, corporation or association acting in concert with him by appropriate action in the courts of this Commonwealth such damages as he may have sustained by reason of such denial or deprivation of employment.

Code 1950, § 40-73; 1970, c. 321.

§ 40.1-64. Application of article to contracts.

The provisions of this article shall not apply to any lawful contract in force on April 30, 1947, but they shall apply in all respects to contracts entered into thereafter and to any renewal or extension of an existing contract.

Code 1950, § 40-74; 1970, c. 321.

§ 40.1-65. Agreement or practice designed to cause employer to violate article declared illegal.

Any agreement, understanding or practice which is designated to cause or require any employer, whether or not a party thereto, to violate any provision of this article is hereby declared to be an illegal agreement, understanding or practice and contrary to public policy.

Code 1950, § 40-74.1; 1954, c. 431; 1970, c. 321.

§ 40.1-66. Conduct causing violation of article illegal; peaceful solicitation to join union.

Any person, firm, association, corporation, or labor union or organization engaged in lockouts, layoffs, boycotts, picketing, work stoppages or other conduct, a purpose of which is to cause, force, persuade or induce any other person, firm, association, corporation or labor union or organization to violate any provision of this article shall be guilty of illegal conduct contrary to public policy; provided that nothing herein contained shall be construed to prevent or make illegal the peaceful and orderly solicitation and persuasion by union members of others to join a union, unaccompanied by any intimidation, use of force, threat of use of force, reprisal or threat of reprisal, and provided that no such solicitation or persuasion shall be conducted so as to interfere with, or interrupt the work of any employee during working hours.

Code 1950, § 40-74.2; 1954, c. 431; 1970, c. 321.

§ 40.1-67. Injunctive relief against violation; recovery of damages.

Any employer, person, firm, association, corporation, labor union or organization injured as a result of any violation or threatened violation of any provision of this article or threatened with any such violation shall be entitled to injunctive relief against any and all violators or persons threatening violation, and also to recover from such violator or violators, or person or persons, any and all damages of any character cognizable at common law resulting from such violations or threatened violations. Such remedies shall be independent of and in addition to the penalties and remedies prescribed in other provisions of this article.

Code 1950, § 40-74.3; 1954, c. 431; 1970, c. 321.

§ 40.1-68. Service of process on clerk of State Corporation Commission as attorney for union.

Any labor union or labor organization doing business in this Commonwealth, all of whose officers and trustees are nonresidents of this Commonwealth, shall by written power of attorney, filed with the Department of Labor and Industry and the State Corporation Commission, appoint the clerk of the State Corporation Commission its attorney or agent upon whom all legal process against the union or organization may be served, and who shall be authorized to enter an appearance on its behalf. The manner of service of process on the clerk of the State Corporation Commission, the mailing thereof to the labor union or organization, the fees therefor, the effect of judgments, decrees and orders, and the procedure in cases where no power of attorney is filed as required, shall be the same as provided for in cases of foreign corporations.

Code 1950, § 40-74.4; 1954, c. 431; 1956, c. 430; 1970, c. 321.

§ 40.1-69. Violation a misdemeanor.

Any violation of any of the provisions of this article by any person, firm, association, corporation, or labor union or organization shall be a misdemeanor.

Code 1950, § 40-74.5; 1954, c. 431; 1970, c. 321; 1973, c. 425.

Article 4. Mediation and Conciliation of Labor Disputes.

§ 40.1-70. Department designated agency to mediate disputes.

The Department is hereby designated as the state agency authorized to mediate and conciliate labor disputes.

Code 1950, § 40-95.1; 1952, c. 697; 1970, c. 321.

§ 40.1-71. Notice of proposed termination or modification of collective bargaining contract; notice prior to work stoppage; injunctions and penalties.

Whenever there is in effect a collective bargaining contract covering employees of any utility engaged in the business of furnishing water, light, heat, gas, electric power, transportation or communication, the utility or the collective bargaining agent recognized by the utility and its employees shall not terminate or modify such contract until the party desiring such termination or modification serves written notice upon the Department of the proposed termination or modification at least thirty days prior to the expiration date thereof or, in the event such contract contains no expiration date, at least thirty days prior to the date it is proposed to make such termination or modification; provided, however, that a party having given notice of modification as provided herein shall not be required to give a notice of termination of the same contract.

Where there is no collective bargaining contract in effect, the utility or its employees shall give at least thirty days' notice to the Department prior to any work stoppage which would affect the operations of the utility engaged in the business of furnishing any of the utilities as described in this section.

If the utility or its employees, or the collective bargaining agent recognized by the utility and its employees, as the case may be, fails to give thirty days' notice as required by this section, the utility or its employees or such collective bargaining agent, as the case may be, may file a bill of complaint with the clerk of the circuit court having equity jurisdiction over the place of employment asking the court to temporarily enjoin such termination, modification or work stoppage until the proper notice has been served and the thirty-day period has been observed. The court shall have the authority to impose against any person who violates the notice provisions of this section a fine of up to $100 for each day such termination, modification or work stoppage continues until proper notice has been served and observed or against the collective bargaining agent the court shall have the authority to impose a fine of up to $1,000 for each day such termination or modification continues until proper notice has been served and observed.

Code 1950, § 40-95.2; 1952, c. 697; 1966, c. 92; 1970, c. 321; 1979, c. 515.

§ 40.1-72. Commissioner to notify Governor of disputes; mediation and conciliation.

Upon receipt of notice of any labor dispute affecting operation of the utility, the Commissioner shall forthwith notify the Governor and inform him of the nature of the dispute. If the Governor deems it necessary the Commissioner, or his designated agent, shall offer to meet and confer with the parties in interest and undertake to mediate and conciliate their differences. If the Governor deems it advisable, it shall be the duty of the utility and its employees, or designated representatives, to meet and confer with the Commissioner or his agent, at a time and place designated by the Commissioner, for the purpose of mediating and conciliating their differences.

Code 1950, § 40-95.3; 1952, c. 697; 1966, c. 92; 1970, c. 321.

§ 40.1-73. Commissioner to keep Governor informed of negotiations, etc.

The Commissioner shall keep the Governor fully informed as to the progress of the negotiations between the utility and its employees and shall report as soon as practical whether in his judgment a strike or lockout appears to be probable in any such dispute or, if a strike or lockout begins, whether continuation thereof is probable.

Code 1950, § 40-95.4; 1952, c. 697; 1970, c. 321.

§ 40.1-74. Right of entry.

In order to carry out the duties imposed by this article, the Commissioner or his designated agent shall have the right to enter upon the property of the utility.

Code 1950, § 40-95.5; 1952, c. 697; 1970, c. 321.

§ 40.1-75. Article not applicable when National Railway Labor Act applies.

Nothing in this article shall apply to any utility to which the National Railway Labor Act is applicable.

Code 1950, § 40-95.6; 1952, c. 697; 1970, c. 321.

Article 5. Registration of Labor Unions, Labor Associations and Labor Organizations.

§ 40.1-76. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1991, c. 443.