Restaurant Groups Sue to Block NYC Worker Protection Laws

Restaurant industry groups sued to block new laws that give many fast-food workers in New York City union-style protection from firings or having their hours cut.

The Just Cause Laws, due to take effect July 5, require fast-food chains that own or operate 30 or more establishments to provide progressive discipline to workers and fire them only for “just cause.” They also force restaurants to give legitimate economic reasons before instituting layoffs.

The Restaurant Law Center and the New York State Restaurant Association described the laws as an attempted “end-run” around labor laws and an effort to “evade” the rules of the National Labor Relations Act, which dictates how workers form unions and seek workplace protections.

“The city has eliminated at-will employment -- a standard in place for over 100 years -- for fast-food employers affiliated with a
chain of 30 locations nationwide and only those employers,” the groups said in a lawsuit filed Friday in federal court in Manhattan.

The restaurant groups asked the court to block the implementation of the new laws.

The case is Restaurant Law Center v. City of New York, 1:21-cv-04801, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

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