The California FAST Act — the controversial legislation passed by the state in Sept. that would create a council to regulate the fast-food industry — has been put on hold for now. The Save Local Restaurants Coalition, led by the National Restaurant Association, received more than a million signatures –enough to send the legislation to a referendum vote, which will take place in Nov. 2024.
“The National Restaurant Association committed to bringing this legislative action to the voters in California because we think voters need to have a say when laws like the FAST Act would fracture the restaurant industry and harm the people who make restaurant businesses great. Californians agree with us and it’s clear they want a chance to stop this law,” Michelle Korsmo, President & CEO of the National Restaurant Association said in a statement. The fact this process puts this law on hold ensures that restaurants can operate without disruption in the meantime and diners won’t lose of the brands they love.”
The FAST Recovery Act or Assembly Bill 257, was signed into law by California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Labor Day and was designed to give fast-food employees a seat at the table. The Governor would be in charge of creating a 10-person council that would set standard wages, working hours and conditions for employees of quick-service chains with 100 or more locations nationally.
That council would have the ability to raise the minimum wage for workers to $22 an hour. And although the council’s jurisdiction would technically only extend to the quick-service restaurant industry, according to a previous interview we did with Riley Lagesen, an attorney at Greenberg Traurig, the competitive market would ensure that nearly every industry statewide adjusts their wages accordingly. It would also be highly likely that the legislation would be copied in other industries and across other cities and states.
“The Association and our state restaurant association partners are mobilizing to engage with operators and lawmakers in areas we see as targets,” Sean Kennedy, executive vice president of public affairs for the National Restaurant Association said in a statement. “We cannot allow for these same walls and hurdles to be built in other jurisdictions, so we’ll invest our time and resources in making sure this noxious legislation doesn’t spread.”
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