On December 17, 2020, the New York City Council voted to pass a bill protecting fast food workers from being fired or having their hours significantly reduced without a valid reason. Mayor DeBlasio is expected to sign the legislation into law. Under the bill, employers may not terminate employees or substantially reduce their hours without providing bona fide economic reasons or showing that an employee did not satisfactorily perform their job or engaged in misconduct. This legislation will affect major fast food employers in the city who have at least 30 locations nationwide, such as Chipotle, McDonald’s, and Burger King.

This measure is a significant step toward ensuring a more just workplace for fast food workers. Labor rights advocates hope that this latest bill will spark change across the nation to protect workers from the instability of at-will employment. As the country continues to grapple with the pandemic and essential workers – such as fast food employees – are kept on the front lines, this bill shows that now more than ever is the time to advocate for the expansion of labor rights and ensure stability for all workers.

These protections were passed with the help of SEIU’s Local 32BJ. Levy Ratner has worked with SEIU and Local 32BJ over the last eight years representing the Fast Food Workers Committee and supporting the Fight for $15 campaign.

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