California Assembly Bill 1228 was signed into law last Thursday, September 28, 2023, by Governor Gavin Newsom. Fast-food workers in the state will now earn a minimum of $20.00 per hour effective April 1, 2024 (not January 1 as typical of “new” laws).
The new law further places California at the top for minimum wage standards for fast-food workers—a place that California generally occupied even before the passage of this new law. This wage increase, Gov. Newsom stated, was justified as a result of the 550,000 fast-food workers statewide being the primary providers for their families—the vast majority of whom are minorities. In signing the bill into law, Gov. Newsom claimed that the new law was about “inclusion” as much as it was about increased pay.
Restaurant owners, of course, are unhappy about the wage increase, claiming that the additional wage increase will necessarily translate into higher prices for consumers. Regardless, barring other legal intervention, fast-food owners should prepare for a wage increase next April.
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