California’s fast-food wage regulation is blocked by a court.
On Friday, a Sacramento Superior Court judge halted a proposed California law that would have allowed the state to bargain for the pay and working conditions of fast-food workers. Restaurant owners and franchisees fiercely opposed the Fast Foods Accountability and Standards Restoration Act (“FAST”), and labour unions fought to grant the state a seat in the negotiations. Under the regulation, a 10-member committee would have been established to set minimum pay and acceptable work hours for the state’s fast-food companies.
The biggest fast-food chains are attempting to get the legislation stopped through a vote in November 2024, and election officials are still tallying the signatures on the petition. The court’s order would halt the regulation until Californians had an opportunity to cast their votes, provided that a sufficient number of signatures are confirmed. If the referendum satisfies the conditions, the California Department of Industrial Relations would start enforcing the regulation on Sunday. But it’s doubtful that actual pay talks will begin before the end of 2021.
One of the legislation’s main supporters was the Service Employees International Union.