Newsom Paves Way for $22/Hour Fast-Food Minimum Wage

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California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, signed a bill Monday establishing a council empowered to raise the minimum wage for the state’s fast-food workers to more than $20 per hour.

The Fast Food Accountability and Standards Recovery Act (AB 257), passed by the state Legislature a week prior, orders a 10-member Fast Food Council to appropriately create wage, working conditions, and training standards for fast-food restaurant employees. The law allows the council to impose a minimum fast-food wage of up to $22 per hour in 2023.

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“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 Monday.

California currently requires businesses with more than 25 employees to pay them at least $15 per hour, a standard scheduled to rise by 50 cents an hour in 2023.

The Fast Food Council must feature two representatives each of fast-food restaurant employees, employee advocates, franchisors, and franchisees, the new law orders. It also reserves single spots for representatives of the state Industrial Relations Department and the Governor’s Business and Economic Development Office.

Prior to the act’s signing, fast-food restaurant franchisees expressed concerned it would spur operating cost and consumer price increases, according to the The Business Journal.

“The state of California has rigorous rules and regulations regarding wage and hour, regarding franchising, regarding the relationships between franchisor and franchisee, the relationship between the employer and employee,” Eagle Management Business Consulting President and Deli Delicious Franchising Executive Vice President Ali Nekumanesh said, the outlet reported. “Therefore, we think this [AB] 257 is shortsighted and the focus on quick-service restaurants is very puzzling to the eyes of the beholder.”

A representative for Newsom referred the Daily Caller News Foundation to his Monday press release about the law’s signing.

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