California Raises Minimum Wage to $20/Hour for Fast Food Workers

Lucky for us, LH is NOT affected by this new law!

In a groundbreaking move for workers’ rights, California recently became the first state to mandate a $20 per hour minimum wage specifically for employees of large fast food chains. This new policy, signed into law on Labor Day 2023, aims to provide a living wage and better working conditions for nearly 600,000 fast food workers across the state.

The $20 minimum wage for fast food employees at chains with over 100 locations nationally represents more than double the current state minimum wage of $15.50 per hour. It’s a significant pay increase that could dramatically improve the lives of workers who have struggled with poverty wages for decades.

The fast food industry has long been criticized for its low pay, limited benefits, and lack of career paths despite being highly profitable. A $20 minimum wage could change that narrative and force major employers like McDonald’s, Burger King, and Taco Bell to reevaluate their business models.

Supporters of the legislation argue that $20/hour is a reasonable wage given the physical demands and high-stress environments faced by fast food crews. Critics argue the higher labor costs will drive up consumer prices and potentially cause staff reductions through increased automation.

Regardless of one’s stance, the new law is set to have far-reaching implications. Fast food companies will need to weigh the trade-offs between paying higher wages, raising menu prices, and pursuing more automation. Local economies may benefit from workers having more disposable income to spend.

The $20 fast food wage could also inspire similar wage hike efforts in other states and industries. For now though, all eyes are on California as it embarks on this new minimum pay standard starting January 1, 2024. Fast food workers there are one big step closer to economic dignity and security.

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