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Minimum Wage Increase for Fast Food Chain Employees

Today, April 1, 2024, the minimum wage for employees working for National Fast Food Chains has increased to $20 per hour. Under this law (AB 1228), National Fast Food chains are defined as limited-service restaurants consisting of more than 60 establishments nationally, that share a common brand, or that are characterized by standardized options for decor, marketing, packaging, products, and services, and which are primarily engaged in providing food and beverages for immediate consumption on or off premises where patrons generally order, or select items, and pay before consuming, with limited or no table service.

This is not the last time we will see the minimum wage increase for fast food employees. The minimum wage for fast food employees will likely increase each year on January 1st moving forward by no more than 3.5%. Any minimum wage increase will be determined by the Fast Food Council. The Food Council is made up of 9 voting members, including representatives from various sectors of the fast food industry, fast food restaurant franchisees or restaurant owners, fast food restaurant employees, advocates for fast food restaurant employees, and a neutral chairperson. In addition to the increases to minimum wage, the Fast Food Council will also provide recommendations to the Department of Industrial Relations related to workplace standards.

While there are exceptions to this law, the question is why only fast food chains, like McDonalds?  Why not a Panera (well they fall under one of the exemptions due to their classification as a “bakery”)?  But really, how do you pick one employer over the over.   This is just another reminder that the arbitrary and challenging employment laws in California make it difficult for Employers to run their businesses California Labor compliant.   It also makes California companies breeding grounds for wage & hour lawsuits.  As a result, it is crucial for employers who have National Fast Food Chains in California to stay up to date with minimum wage requirements and other workplace recommendations made by the Fast Food Council to ensure CA Labor Law Compliance. For more information, contact the Employer Lawyers at Chauvel & Glatt.

This material in this article, provided by Chauvel & Glatt, is designed to provide informative and current information as of the date of the post. It should not be considered, nor is it intended to constitute legal advice.  For information on your particular circumstances, please contact  Chauvel & Glatt at 650-573-9500 for legal assistance near you.


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