Apparently incapable of recognizing the unprecedented difficulties that fast food franchisees are facing throughout the course of the coronavirus pandemic, New York City seems intent on adding misery to misery. Just before the Christmas holiday, the New York City Council passed a pair of bills targeting franchised fast food chains. The first – and perhaps most egregious – is the so-called Just Cause Termination bill, which prohibits covered employers from terminating an employee without “just cause”. Although a fair sounding title, this law shifts the burden of proof onto the employer who now must not only prove that the cause for an employee’s termination is valid, but also within the parameters of what the law defines as a “just cause”! Furthermore, it lays out a detailed arbitration process that employers must follow. The second measure passed at that same Council meeting provides that in the event of layoffs, an employer must implement those layoffs using seniority as the determining factor – notwithstanding how good or bad a worker any given employee may be! Even in the absence of a specific collective bargaining agreement – which few, if any, fast food businesses have – the city government is dictating terms to private employers as if seniority and other issues had been collectively bargained! Mayor de Blasio signed both bills into law this week.