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Will Just Cause Job Termination Apply to All Businesses in New York City?

The Proposed “Just Cause” Law

How does just cause job termination apply in NYC? NYC has a law that prohibits fast food companies from reducing an employee’s hours by 15%, and from laying off or firing workers without “just cause or a legitimate economic reason.”

Making just cause job termination apply to all NYC jobs is the aim of Queens City Councilwoman, Tiffany Cabán. She would expand it to apply regardless of the company’s size or its pay system.

What provisions would the just cause job termination law include?

Other provisions in the law would include:

  •  Using workers the company had fired for economic reasons to fill every new or open position and filling them with workers based on employee’s seniority
  •  A 15 day interim between initial warning or discipline and termination for cause with the exception of when an employee egregiously failed to do their job duties
  •  Mandates for generous severance pay
  •  Prohibition against gathering worker data through electronic monitoring used in firing, disciplining or promoting employees
  •  Requiring ample notification to employees of electronic monitoring
  • Allowing third-party nonprofits to sue over violations

(Reference: New York Post)

What is at-will employment?

At-will employment, which includes at-will firing, enables employers to fire employees without good cause. All states have at-will employment except for Montana. Montana protects employees who have completed a probationary period from being fired without cause. However, even in states with at-will employment, some employers have policies that require good cause to fire an employee. The employer may even list reasons necessary to fire workers in their policies. Furthermore, employers can establish their policy through their employment contracts.

As an employer, do you have questions about just cause and at-will employment?

If you have questions or concerns, it is wise to get a legal opinion. You can consult with our attorneys at Stephen D. Hans & Associates, P.C. We are glad to provide you with experienced legal guidance. Call (718) 275-6500 to arrange an appointment.