SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill into law on Labor Day creating a council to govern wages and other labor conditions at fast food restaurants.
The council’s purpose, as laid out in the text of Assembly Bill 257, is to create minimum standards on wages, working hours, and other conditions to protect the health, safety, and welfare of fast food restaurant workers.
Assembly Bill 257, also known as the FAST Recovery Act, only applies to restaurants that are part of chains with 100 or more restaurants nationally that share a common brand or that are “characterized by standardized options for decor, marketing, packaging, products, and services.”
“California is committed to ensuring that the men and women who have helped build our world-class economy are able to share in the state’s prosperity,” said Governor Newsom.
The council created by Assembly Bill 257, would be made up of one representative from the state’s Department of Industrial Relations, two for fast food restaurant franchisees, two for franchisors, two for fast food employees, two for advocates of employees, and one from the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development.
The bill restricts the council’s power in several areas including:
- Limiting the minimum wage set by the council to no more than $22 an hour by the end of 2023
- Limiting the minimum wage increase starting in 2024 to the lesser of either 3.5% or the average increase of the consumer price index over a year’s time
- The council can not create new paid time off benefits
- The council can not create new regulations for predictable scheduling
“Today’s action gives hardworking fast-food workers a stronger voice and seat at the table to set fair wages and critical health and safety standards across the industry,” Newsom said. “I’m proud to sign this legislation on Labor Day when we pay tribute to the workers who keep our state running as we build a stronger, more inclusive economy for all Californians.”
The bill was introduced by Assembly Members Chris Holden, Wendy Carrillo, Evan Low and Luz Rivas in the 2021 legislative session but failed to pass out of the Assembly.