Fast Food Workers

New Just Cause Protections for Fast Food Workers

New protections against arbitrary firing for fast food workers became effective on July 4, 2021:

  • No firing after 30-day probation period without just cause.
  • No layoffs unless the employer is closing or reorganizing due to a downturn in business. Layoffs must be in reverse order of seniority and laid-off employees have first priority to work available shifts.
  • Written explanation from employer for firing, reduction of hours, or layoff.

The new law includes amendments to the Fair Workweek Law that also became effective on July 4, 2021:

  • The regular schedule replaces the good faith estimate and expressly requires long term scheduling stability.
  • The hours in the regular schedule cannot be reduced by more than 15% without advance consent or a written request from the employee.

DCWP will be updating materials to reflect expanded protections for fast food workers, which took effect on July 4, 2021. Please continue to monitor this page.

NYC's Fair Workweek Law

Under the Fair Workweek Law, fast food employers in NYC:

  • Must give workers regular schedules that stay the same week-to-week
  • Must give workers work schedules 14 days in advance of the start of the schedule
  • Must pay premiums for schedule changes or clopenings
  • Must give workers a chance to say no to extra work or to clopenings
  • Must give current workers the opportunity to work more regular hours before hiring new employees
  • Cannot fire or reduce the hours of a worker by more than 15% without just cause or a legitimate business reason
  • Must reinstate laid off employees by seniority when hours become available

NEW! Download Important Information for Fast Food Employers/Workers: NYC’s Fair Workweek Law in:

  • English
    Please check back soon for translations.

Notice of Rights

NEW! Fast food employers must post the notice, NYC FAST FOOD WORKERS’ RIGHTS, where employees can easily see it at each NYC workplace. Note: Employers must also post the notice in any language that is the primary language of at least 5 percent of the workers at the workplace if available below. Download a copy in:

Workplace Complaints

DCWP accepts complaints about employers for violations of fast food workers’ rights. File a workplace complaint.

Note: The just cause protections went into effect on July 4, 2021 and workers can immediately enforce their rights in court through a private right of action. DCWP will begin enforcing the just cause law on September 2, 2021. Beginning in January 2022, workers also can request to resolve their complaints through binding arbitration by a DCWP administered panel of arbitrators.

Fair Workweek Law in Fast Food: Frequently Asked Questions

Download FAQs. (Updated July 2021)

Law and Rules

Download Fair Workweek Law/Rules packet (Updated June 2021)

Fast Food Employer Tools

NEW! Download Progressive Discipline Policies: What Fast Food Employers Need to Know.

NEW! Download Template Termination and Hours Reduction Notices in Word format:

Visit the Fast Food Employer Tools page.