Restaurant Groups Say They Have Filed Over 1 Million Signatures To Pause California Fast Food Worker Law, Put On 2024 Ballot
McDonald's Q1 Earnings Up On Higher Menu Prices, Overseas Growth SAN LEANDRO, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 28: A sign is posted in front of a McDonald's restaurant on April 28, 2022 in San Leandro, California. Fast food chain McDonald's reported better-than-expected first quarter earnings with revenue of $5.67 billion compared to analyst expectations of $5.59 billion. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) Justin Sullivan / Staff
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On Monday, a group of restaurant owners and business organizations said they gathered enough signatures to pause a California wage law and put the measure on the ballot in two years. 

The law, known as the FAST Recovery Act, was signed earlier this year by Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom. It creates a governmental Fast Food Council of ten people that would create rules for fast food workers, including how much they earn, as well as working conditions and hours. 

The group of restaurant professionals is called Save Local Restaurants, and said it had filed over 1 million petition signatures to halt the law and let voters in California decide if they want it to go into effect during the 2024 election, The Wall Street Journal reported. 

“The FAST Act would have an enormous impact on Californians, and clearly voters want a say in whether it should stand,” the Save Local Restaurants group said. “The measure would establish an unelected council to control labor policy in the counter-service restaurant industry, cause food prices to increase by as much as 20% during a period of decades-high inflation, and harm thousands of small family-, minority-, and women-owned businesses across the state.”


The group needed to get around 623,000 valid signatures from voters by Monday, December 5, in order to get it on the 2024 ballot. Now, the California secretary of state has to look over the submissions to decide if enough valid signatures are included to get it onto the ballot.

The National Restaurant Association said in September that since the measure became law, it “has major impacts on both franchisees and franchisors by giving an unelected body the ability to create regulations that are harmful to quick service operators around the state.”

It could make the minimum wage for fast food workers as steep as $22 per hour in 2023. The law applies to chains that have more than 100 locations around the country. 

Those who are in favor of the measure argue that it’s vital for the economic advancement of workers who are employed at fast-food locations. 

“This landmark law protects and empowers over 500,000 fast-food workers and makes historic progress towards reducing racial and income inequality in California. Still, fast-food corporations refuse to respect the law and come to the table,” President of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Mary Kay Henry stated.

The SEIU filed a complaint last month via a law firm over the signatures’ validity, arguing with some videos, that petitioners were not truthful with people in order to persuade them to sign the petition. 

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