Federal Court Upholds New York City’s ‘Just Cause’ Job Protections


Following is a statement by Rebecca Dixon, executive director of the National Employment Law Project, on yesterday evening’s ruling by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York upholding New York City’s fast-food worker “just cause” law:

“The U.S. District Court’s ruling upholding New York City’s just-cause job protections for fast-food workers is a victory for frontline workers who have been speaking out to demand stability and security in their jobs—and the respect they deserve. The court rejected fast-food corporations’ arguments that it is somehow unfair or illegal to require them to provide a good reason and a fair process before terminating a person’s employment and leaving them jobless.

“The United States is unique among wealthy nations in that employees can be fired abruptly—without notice or a good reason—and left with bills due and no paycheck or severance pay. This system of employment “at will” wreaks havoc on the lives of U.S. workers. And it hurts Black and Latinx workers the most, since they are more likely than white workers to face an extended period of unemployment after losing a job—and have less household savings or family wealth to fall back on when they’re out of work.

“At-will employment also makes it difficult to enforce our anti-discrimination laws. When employers can give almost any reason—or no reason at all—for a firing, it becomes an uphill battle to prove illegal discrimination. It also leaves whistleblowers who sound the alarm about dangerous or illegal conditions at work vulnerable to being punished or fired, as we’ve seen vividly during the pandemic.

“That’s why New York City’s fast-food just-cause law was such a breakthrough. For the first time in 30 years, we’re seeing real action on reining in unfair firings. Similar legislation has been introduced in Illinois, and we expect more cities and states to follow New York’s lead.”




Related to

The Latest News

All news