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Fast Food Fast Act - CA Employment Law Changes for 2023

Fast Food Fast Act - CA Employment Law Changes for 2023

Assembly Bill 257 is aimed at the “fast food” industry – specifically restaurants that are part of a chain of 100 or more establishments.  However, the bill’s broad definition may include many other types of business beyond what most people would consider “fast food.”

Key takeaways:

  • Fast Food Council: AB 257 will establish a Fast Food Council (FFC) within the Department of Industrial Relations through January 1, 2029.  The FFC will be comprised of 10 appointed members to regulate wages, working hours, and safety/health requirements.
  • Covered Employers: The law will apply to those defined as fast food restaurants consisting of 100 or more establishments nationally that share a common brand, or that are characterized by standardized options for decor, marketing, packaging, products, and services (i.e., including franchisees).
  • Anticipated Wage Raises: The FFC is authorized to set minimum standards on wages, which could be capped at $22 an hour for 2023 (and future limits are set annually at the lesser of 3.5% or the rate change set by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).
  • Anti-Discrimination/Retaliation: Prohibits covered employers from discharging, discriminating, or retaliating against an employee for defined protected activity, such as filing certain complaints, participating in FFC proceedings, or refusing to engage in health/safety violations. There is a rebuttable presumption of wrongdoing if the employer takes adverse action against the employee within 90 days after they have knowledge the employee engaged in protected conduct.

This article is for general information purposes and is not intended to be and should not be taken as legal advice. 

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