What Restaurant Employers Should Know About NYC's New Just Cause Laws
Two major bills which impact New York City fast-food employers and their employees just went into effect this past week.
What are the "Just Cause" laws?
Here are the new requirements that fast-food employers must now abide by.
- They may not terminate, constructively discharge, reduce hours by more than 15%, or indefinitely suspend employees who have completed their probationary period, without just cause.
- They must engage in progressive discipline before terminating an employee’s employment (exceptions apply to situations of serious misconduct).
- If employers lay off employees due to bona fide economic reasons, they must do so in order of seniority.
- Employers must provide newly hired employees with a good faith estimate of their workdays and hours, on or before their first day of work.
What steps can employers take now?
These laws require NYC fast-food restaurant employers to grant their employees with a set of rights and protections that are typically seen by employees covered by a union.
Here are steps that NYC fast-food restaurant employers can take action to protect their businesses.
- Create and provide employees with a written discipline policy to reference prior to “just cause” terminations.
- Train all employees and managers on these policies and subsequent procedures.
- Employers will have to provide a written explanation to terminated employees outlining specific reasons for discharge within 5 days of the termination. Adopting a record-keeping system to note reasons for discharge will be helpful.
- Organize scheduling systems as best as possible to provide employees with a written and predictable schedule of weekly shifts.