California law set to improve protections for fast-food workers. More than half a million workers in the state of California work in the fast-food industry — a sector that struggles with low wages, wage theft, harassment, and overall unsafe working conditions. One in five families with a member working in the fast-food sector has an income below the federal poverty line. The FAST Recovery Act (AB 257), which was passed by the California Assembly and signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom in September 2022, aims to improve working standards for fast food restaurants. The law will establish a 10-member council made up of political appointees from state health and labor industry officials, fast food workers, and union representatives to create minimum standards of wages and working conditions with the capability of raising the minimum wage to $22 per hour. Labor advocates, including the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), believe that this legislation will be the biggest piece of labor law in the past decade as well as a step toward sectoral bargaining. Similar efforts have happened in New York, Seattle, and Detroit. Major opposition occurred from a coalition of fast-food franchises that gathered enough signatures to place the referendum on the 2024 ballot. Read more.