Attorney General William Tong joined a nationwide coalition of 12 attorneys general, led by New York Attorney General Letitia James, in filing an amicus brief to defend a New York City ordinance that protects fast food employees’ jobs.
The 2021 law requires fast-food chain restaurant employers in New York City to provide a valid reason—such as unsatisfactory performance, misconduct, or a legitimate economic concern—before firing or reducing the hours of an employee. The coalition brief argues that the law does not violate the National Labor Relations Act or the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
“The fast-food industry demands an enormous amount of its employees, and New York City has chosen to give them important job protections. I stand with workers and with my fellow state attorneys general in this coalition in strong support of this lawful statute,” said Attorney General Tong in a release on Friday.
In the amicus brief, the coalition argues that the New York City ordinance grows out of well-established state and local authority to enforce labor laws that provide vital protections for workers – like minimum wage, overtime, and prevailing wage laws.
The coalition brief, filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, asks the court to uphold the ruling of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, which agreed that the just cause law is not preempted by federal law and does not violate the Commerce Clause.
Joining Attorney General Tong and Attorney General James in filing this brief are the Attorneys General of California, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oregon, Washington, and the District of Columbia.