According to a new law that Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom signed on Thursday, California fast food employees will be paid at least $20 per hour starting in 2019.
According to data gathered by the University of California-Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education, when it goes into effect on April 1, the minimum wage for fast food employees in California will be among the highest in the nation.
The state already has one of the highest minimum wages in the country for all other workers, at $15.50 per hour. At a Los Angeles gathering, cheering fast food workers and labor groups gathered behind Newsom as he signed the law.
“This is a big deal,” Newsom declared. The authority and sway of labor unions in the most populous state in the country are reflected in Newsom’s signing on Thursday.
These organizations have campaigned to organize fast food employees in an effort to raise their pay and working conditions.
Additionally, it resolves a dispute between business and labor groups regarding how to regulate the industry, at least for the time being. Labor unions have given up their attempt to hold fast food corporations accountable for the crimes of their independent franchise owners in California in exchange for increased pay.
This action may have completely changed the industry’s economic model. In the meantime, the sector has consented to remove a referendum on employee pay from the 2024 ballot.
“I’m doing this for my forefathers. This applies to all farmworkers, including cotton pickers. For them, this is. We stand on their shoulders, said Southern California-based Jack in the Box employee Anneisha Williams. According to the U.S., fast food employees in California make an average of $16.60 per hour, or a little over $34,000 per year.
Labor Statistics Bureau. That falls below the California Poverty Measure for a family of four, a metric derived by the Stanford Center on Poverty and Equality and the Public Policy Institute of California that takes into account housing costs and publicly funded subsidies.
According to Enrique Lopezlira, director of the University of California, the majority of fast food employees in California are over 18 and the primary breadwinners for their families.
The minimum salary of $20 is only a place to start. The bill establishes a fast food council with the authority to boost that pay by the greater of 3.5% every year through 2029, or the change in U.S. average wages.
Whatever is lower is the consumer price index for urban wage earners and office workers. Restaurants with at least 60 locations across the country are eligible for the rise, but those that bake and sell their own bread, like Panera Bread, are not included. The raise goes into effect on April 1 and is open to all employees.