AB 257 Fast Food Worker Wage Council On Hold Per Court Order

AB 257 Fast Food Worker Wage Council On Hold Per Court Order

Epps & Coulson, LLP previously reported on the new California bill called FAST Recovery Act, AB 257, which establishes a council to regulate wages and working conditions for more than a million California fast food employees and was to go into effect Jan 1st.  The new council will have the authority to set an industry-wide minimum wage as high as $22 per hour and address working conditions for the fastest growing group of low-wage workers in California.  AB 257 authorizes any city or county with more than 200,000 residents to establish its own local fast food council.  The fast food counsel can bypass labor organizing and franchise controls to implement employment rules.

The council(s) can increase the minimum wage up to $22 per hour for 2023 from the current California minimum wage of $14-$15/hour, with a 3.5% increase each year thereafter. The council can investigate employee’s wage claims, enjoin employers from retaliating, firing or discriminating against reporting employees and require the employer to rehire an employee fired for reporting.  The council also has authority to address health and safety standards and make changes.  There are an estimated 30,000 fast food franchise locations in California.

These major fast food chains and a handful of business associations opposed the implementation of AB 257 and just won an injunction by Judge Shelleyanne Chang out of Sacramento.  AB 257 was introduced as a response to reports of safety violation incidents affecting fast food workers during the pandemic, incidents such as a McDonalds in Oakland, California sued by employees who claimed they were forced to work during the pandemic and to wear dog diapers and coffee filters as masks to protect themselves.  Here at Epps & Coulson, LLP, we will keep you informed and help you in employment matters.  Please feel free to contact Dawn at: dcoulson@eppscoulson.com for any questions.

Information contained in this Memo is intended for informational and educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.  It is likely considered advertising.  Epps & Coulson, LLP encourages you to call to discuss these matters as they apply to you or your business.

Attorneys admitted to practice in California, New York, Colorado, Texas, and Oregon