Court puts a hold on fast-food worker law that would allow $22 minimum wage

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Court puts a hold on fast-food worker law that would allow $22 minimum wage
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STATEWIDE – Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Shelleyanne W.L. Chang temporarily stopped the FAST Recovery law from going into effect. The law, which was supposed to be implemented Jan. 1, would have allowed for a $22 minimum wage for fast-food workers as well as other working condition standards.

Save Local Restaurants filed a lawsuit, Dec. 29, 2022, against state officials. The group asked the court to block the implementation of the law until the Secretary of State office has finished validating a petition to put the law on the 2024 ballot.

“In light of the incredibly short timeframe provided to the court to hear this matter, the court has construed the filing as an ex parte application for a temporary restraining order which the court hereby grants. Respondents are temporarily restrained from implementing, enforcing, or taking any other actions to effectuate Assembly Bill 257, Stats. 2022, ch 246,” states the Dec. 30, 2022 court order.

A hearing is scheduled for January 13, 2023 when the court will decide the merits of the lawsuit.

In addition to higher wages, the FAST Recovery law would have established a Fast Food Council that regulates conditions related to:

  • health and safety, security in the workplace; 
  • the right to take time off from work for protected purposes; 
  • protection from discrimination and harassment.

The new law would have affected any chain restaurant with at least 100 locations in the United States. This includes individual franchise owners as part of a large chain of restaurants.

Opponents of the law feel that it will make the cost-of-living crisis in California even worse for the 70% of residents who visit a fast food restaurant each week.

RELATED: New fast food worker law that allows up to $22 minimum wage receiving pushback

 “The measure would establish an unelected council to control labor policy in the counter-service restaurant industry, cause food prices to increase by as much as 20% during a period of decades-high inflation, and harm thousands of small family-, minority-, and women-owned businesses across the state,” says a Save Local Restaurants statement.

According to their site, the coalition collected over one million signatures to oppose the FAST Act, and made the Dec. 5th deadline to submit their petition. Once the minimum required signatures are verified, the law will be temporarily halted and placed on the November 2024 ballot for voters to have their say.

In-N-Out Burgers, Chipotle Mexican Grill, and Starbucks are major funders for the Save Local Restaurants coalition. 

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