California Moves To Let Workers Boss Their Fast-Food Bosses

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A new California bill that would pass off regulation of the fast food industry to a unelected council has raised concerns with Republicans and business groups struggling to recover from pandemic lockdowns. The bill’s proposed “Fast Food Sector Council” would host 11 members appointed by the California governor, which would include fast-food workers, franchisors, and franchisees.

Introduced in 2021, AB-257, the Fast Food Accountability and Standards (FAST) Recovery Act, was touted as increasing the rights and working conditions of California’s over 500,000 fast-food workers. It passed the state assembly in Jan. 2022 and the state Senate Labor, Public Employment and Retirement Committee held a hearing on the bill Monday.

If signed into law, the FAST Recovery Act would create a new Fast Food Sector Council within the California Department of Industrial Relations and introduce new regulations, including one that would make the franchisor jointly liable for certain violations by its franchisee.

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The bill’s proponents say would reduce “wage theft” and shore up protections for the largest and fastest growing group of low-income workers in the state.

“I think it creates an opportunity for there to be a seat at the table for all of the parties who really need to have …

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