CA: Fight for $22.00 Min. Wage in Fast Food

WSJ Headline: California Fast-Food Wage Law Opponents Begin Effort to Block It

If opponents gather enough signatures, law would be put on hold and go before voters in 2024…

Opponents of a new California law that could set the minimum wage for the fast-food industry as high as $22 an hour next year have begun an effort to postpone its implementation and let voters decide whether to permanently block it in 2024.

A proposed referendum seeking to overturn the law, known as the FAST Recovery Act, was filed with the California Attorney General’s office Tuesday afternoon, a spokeswoman for the state’s top lawyer confirmed. The backers listed on the filing are state residents Amber Evans and Steven McDermed, according to a government filing. They are represented by Nielsen Merksamer, a high-profile political law and lobbying firm in Sacramento.

Ms. Evans and Mr. McDermed couldn’t immediately be reached for comment. A representative for Nielsen Merksamer didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

I remember my first job with a regular paycheck. $1.70/hour. Then I got a raise to $2/hour and loved it.

Used my money to buy shares in my company which was being acquired. I noticed (perhaps because it was a small thinly traded company) that there was a big arbitrage opportunity (I was 16yo at the time) and bought as much as I could. Great payday for that time! LOL


1 Like…

The law, the first of its kind in the nation, calls for California to create a 10-person council including workers, union representatives, employers and business advocates that could set a minimum wage for fast-food workers next year as high as $22. That minimum would rise annually based on inflation.

California’s current minimum wage is $15 an hour and is set to increase by 50 cents next year.

Yeah, I’ve read about it.

I have mixed feelings on the subject:

  1. Seems like a lot of folks will be replaced by restaurant robotics more quickly.

  2. It’ll be interesting to see if this results in lifestyle benefits for the remaining employees because it seems there MIGHT be some inflationary offset.

  3. Franchise owners will raise prices. In my own limited experience (we seldom do fast food), I’ve been shocked at the prices at Chick Fil A. It’s about a wash between ordering at CFA vs Texas Roadhouse now. Prices are similar, but we get a full meal at TXRH… and that’s offset by the tip at TXRH. Or other casual quick restaurant like our local Carolina Ale House, etc.

So, probably declining jobs but better paying… and more folks foregoing the visit to fast food in preference for casual quick restaurants or just eating at home. Can’t beat the price of eating at home.


1 Like

My first paycheck at age 14 (worker’s permit) was .75 cents per hour. When I hired on at a record store, I bumped to $1.00. When I hired on at the gas station, I got $1.25.

I spent a good deal of my earnings helping my mom pay electric and water bills. Anything left over, I bought beer and drank all the time - in my teens - to help deal with the insanity of my neighborhood.

Alcohol was my snake medicine to escape.

1 Like

If higher prices forces some American to reconsider their fast food intake, I would consider that a “win,” if they stopped and thought about eating healthier while saving money at the same time.