California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Monday’s bill which will likely lead to new standards that will improve working conditions in the fast-food industry.
Newsom announced that he had signed the legislation on Labor Day. establishes a 10-member Fast Food Council. The Council can adopt standards for fast food workers including rules on wages, hours worked, and how long they can work.
The law would not apply to all restaurants and fast food businesses in the state. Only fast food restaurants with 100 or more locations in California would be subject to the Council’s standards, the law stipulates.
The law “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 in a statement.
The Council will have an equal number of workers’ delegates and employers’ representatives. It will also include 2 state officials. CBS News reported.
The legislation sets a limit on the amount that the minimum wage can rise, but allows for a substantial increase in what fast food workers are currently paid.
California has the highest living wage for an adult single with no children. at $21.82 per hour, according to MIT’s living wage calculator. Couples and parents with children receive a higher amount.
Currently, the minimum wage in California for fast food workers is $15.50 an hr. The new law could allow the Fast Food Council (the Fast Food Council) to increase the minimum wage up to $22 an hour.
The Council will also be able to set automatic increases in the future that are linked to yearly cost-of-living adjustments.
Fast food CEOs and business leaders have strongly opposed the legislation, claiming it could cause steep increases in fast-food prices for consumers. However, studies have shown that there are very few costs associated with raising minimum wage for food workers.
A study that examined minimum wage increases over the past few decades found that for every 10 percent increase, there was a decrease in the minimum wage. costs at restaurants only increased by 0.36 percent. This would mean that, should the Council establish a $22 hour minimum wage in California, a $5 meal at California’s fast food restaurants would only increase costs by seven cents.
Advocates of law say that there will be no cost increases, if any. What’s more, the legislation will allow fast food workers to have more power to unionize and collectively bargainCalifornia
Fight For 15, a group that advocates economic and racial justice in the workplace, applauded the passing of the bill.
California “will soon have a Fast Food Council that will include workers and our advocates who will sit down w/gov reps and business to set standards for over 550,000 California workers,” the group wrote on its official Twitter page.
The organization then acknowledged those who fought for workers’ rights in the past.
“We can’t forget the nearly 10 years of relentless organizing that brought us here,” Fight For 15 said. “Today would not be possible without the efforts of our workers leaders.”