What will California’s FAST Recovery Act do for Fast Food Workers?

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Female hands holding a frying pan with french fries at a commercial kitchen
 (Getty Images)

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed California’s FAST Recovery Act on Labor Day, authorizing the creation of a council aimed to set minimum labor standards in fast food franchises. The council, composed of workers, franchise owners, corporate representatives and state officials, would also have the power to raise the minimum wage for fast food employees to $22. Of the 550,000 fast food workers in the state, most earn near minimum wage: $15 statewide for businesses with 26 or more employees, and higher in certain cities like San Francisco, where it’s $16.32. Advocates of the legislation say it would also create better redress for wage theft and health and safety hazards. Critics have filed a referendum to block the law and turn it into a ballot measure. We’ll talk about how the FAST Recovery Act could affect California’s economy and its fast food workers.


Ken Jacobs, chair, Center for Labor Research and Education at UC Berkeley

Farida Jhabvala Romero, labor correspondent, KQED

Christopher Thornberg, director, Center for Economic Forecasting and Development, UC Riverside School of Business; founding partner, Beacon Economics

Crystal Orozco, worker, McDonald’s in Sacramento