Just Cause Employment: A Better Deal for Ithaca Workers

The Common Council of the City of Ithaca

Ever been fired for no reason, or without a chance to fix the issue? Been laid off when business seems to be doing just fine? Lost your job based on data from invasive surveillance in your workplace?

At-will employment is the problem. At-will employment means your employer can fire you at any time, with no notice and no explanation. It makes jobs insecure and leaves workers vulnerable to intimidation and bullying.

Just cause employment is the solution. Under just cause rules, your employer has to have a good reason to discharge you and follow a fair and transparent process in doing so. Just cause means employers, not just workers, are held accountable. It gives workers the security we deserve in our workplace and encourages employers to focus on developing, rather than replacing, workers.

Just cause legislation in Ithaca would help:

  • Require employers to provide 30 days notice and a written explanation of any proposed discharge.
  • Give employees a chance to receive feedback and improve work performance instead of being discharged.
  • Require employers to provide proof of economic hardship before they lay workers off.
  • Restrict the use of electronic monitoring in discipline or discharge decisions.
  • Establish a city commission to enforce these rules, including by referring complaints to the city attorney for legal action.

Ithaca workers need just cause protections. Sign the petition calling on Common Council to pass just cause legislation. If you’ve faced unfair discipline or termination, share your story and let folks know how just cause employment would make a difference.

We understand that speaking out can put workers at risk of retaliation by their employer. We will never share your name, photo, or any other identifying details without your written permission.

Local supporters of Just Cause Employment!


TC Workers Center, National Employment Law Practice, NY Working Families Party, Solidarity Slate, Ithaca Communist Party USA, Ithaca Democratic Socialists Of America, Cornell Young Democratic Socialists Of America, Ithaca Tenants Union, Sunrise Ithaca, Peoples Organizing Collective Cornell, Cornell Progressives, Climate Justice Cornell, Cornell On Fire, TC Mothers Out Front


Science Center Union, Gimme Coffee Union, UAW 2300, Ithaca Starbucks Workers Union

Small Businesses:

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Ithaca, NY

To: The Common Council of the City of Ithaca
From: [Your Name]

I stand with the workers of Ithaca in support of passing just cause labor protections in our city. Current labor law allows for workers to be fired for nearly any reason with no notice. While our rent and costs of living increase, our wages fall behind and our jobs are at risk. In these times of uncertainty, we need protection against unjust firings.

We need a policy that holds employers, not just employees, accountable. One that will give employees the opportunity to improve their performance and give advance notice of termination so workers have time to prepare, find a new job, and get their affairs in order. And one that will build a Workers’ Rights Commission to address violations of our labor rights in our city and hold bad-faith employers accountable. We need just cause employment, and I call on the Common Council to pass it now.