Just Cause - The News Guild

What is Just Cause?
Why do we need Just Cause?

Simply, Just Cause means job security. It guarantees a worker’s right to fair due process and representation should an employer move to discipline or terminate their employment. It holds bosses accountable for their actions. Basically, Just Cause means that you can’t be punished or let go “just ’cause.” Get it?
The term Just Cause is shorthand for this actual (and very direct) contract language: There shall be no discipline or dismissal without just and sufficient cause. This is the backbone of any strong union contract, including NewsGuild contracts.

Why do we need Just Cause?

Just Cause gives workers the power to fight back. Without it, we are at-will employees — meaning that we can be fired at any time and for any reason. Just Cause requires bosses to ensure that discipline is appropriate for an alleged offense, to follow the steps of progressive discipline, and to give us an opportunity to explain or fix the alleged problem. Just Cause also helps protect employees who speak up about workplace discrimination and discourages a culture of silence in the workplace

How are media employers undermining Just Cause?

Several media organizations are spending a lot of resources to remove Just Cause from our contracts via an “editorial exception.” While dressed up as Just Cause language, this exception gives employers a massive loophole: they can bypass Just Cause to “enforce editorial standards.” This allows management to do whatever it wants under the guise of managers’ subjective editorial judgment. Under their definition, anything can be an editorial standard. This is not Just Cause. Just Cause has no exceptions.