Yes, burgers and fries at McDonald’s (MCD) or burger king (yes) It will likely cost more in the future, under a recently approved bill to improve fast food industry wages and working conditions in a major state.
However, the measure faces a major setback in the industry, and is likely to be battled in court battles for months or years.
The act creates a 10-member statewide committee of fast food industry representatives, workers, and government appointees to set minimum wage and training standards for the industry.
Among other measures, the commission would be allowed to set an industry minimum wage of up to $22 an hour.
Local government efforts to raise wage rates for low-paid workers have had a major impact in the past.
In 2014, Seattle passed a bill that would raise the city’s minimum wage to $15 an hour. While the measure was derided by critics at the time, the $15 an hour figure became a widespread norm in many cities and some states.
However, the federal minimum wage is still $7.25 an hour, where it has been since 2009.
Bill will help more than 500,000
The state’s latest legislative bill was signed into law by California Governor Gavin Newsom earlier this month.
In a statement, he said the measure would give “fast food workers a stronger voice and a seat at the table to set fair wages and important health and safety standards across the industry.”
More than 500,000 people are said to work in the fast food industry in the state, according to supporters of the bill.
Restaurant industry groups have already launched a signature campaign for a vote to repeal the law, Cal Matters’ Dan Walters recently noted.
The International Franchise Association claimed in a statement that the measure could “increase prices by up to 20 percent for diners in California.”
It also claims that the franchise business model “represents a major path toward realizing the American Dream while providing jobs, revenue, and opportunities for their immediate communities.”
The National Restaurant Association said in a statement that the law “threatens businesses already facing a 16% increase in wholesale food prices and ongoing supply chain challenges.”
The California Department of Finance, reviewing the legislation, said the bill “creates significant running costs” for the state’s Department of Industrial Relations. In addition, it creates a sector-specific rule-making body within the DIR, which can lead to a fragmented regulatory and legal environment for employers and raise long-term costs across industries. ”
Industry groups have until December to obtain the more than 600,000 signatures needed to qualify their scale for voting in 2024.
Previous California laws that sought to benefit workers saw similar obstacles in the industry, particularly in the case of Uber (Uber) and lift (LYFT) drivers. The state has passed legislation to classify them as employees, not contractors.
However, the ride-sharing companies secured approval for their own ballot measure that repealed the law in 2020 after spending tens of millions on the campaign. But the case is now pending on appeal in both state and federal courts.