A New York City Council member recently proposed an amendment to the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) that would restrict fast food establishments from firing employees without “just cause.” The purported reason for this amendment is to provide more job security to fast food workers.
The bill defines “just cause” as an “employee’s failure to satisfactorily perform job duties or misconduct that is demonstrably and materially harmful” to the business. If enacted, the proposed bill would require that a termination for just cause be the result of the fast food establishment’s use of “progressive discipline” within a one-year window from the date of the employee’s termination. “Progressive discipline” refers to “a disciplinary system that provides a graduated range of reasonable responses” to an employee’s failure to perform their job satisfactorily. Any discipline issued to the employee outside of the one-year timeframe would not be considered a part of the progressive discipline supporting a just cause termination. The bill would also require employers to provide the employee with a final, written explanation of the specific reasons for their termination. However, these protections would not extend to any fast food employee (1) covered by a collective bargaining agreement or (2) within their probationary period (30 days from date of hire).
Continue Reading Not so fast … New York City Council proposes ban on no-cause firings