Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Shelleyanne Chang’s decision on Friday was in answer to a lawsuit brought by restaurant industry groups. A new law in California was about to go into effect that would make the minimum wage for fast food joints to $22 dollars an hour.
You must remember, this does not raise everyone’s wages only fast food workers. Everyone else gets a minimum wage of $15.50 an hour. Why is flipping burgers worth so much?
This is not even good news for fast food workers, even though they feel like they are more valuable than anyone else. The $22 minimum wage is for any fast food franchise with a minimum of 100 restaurants. But, the person that owns one franchise is penalized because it is not based on how many employees a franchise has, but how many the entire company has.
There are two very good reasons that this new law is not good for fast food workers. Number one, if you are paying that much, you do not need to hire people looking for their first job, you can hire people with better educations. Most importantly, at $22 dollars an hour, it is cheaper to replace people with machines. McDonald’s just opened a fully automated restaurant in Texas. And what about owners who cannot afford automation? Well, they will simply shut the doors.
Governor Newsom said in a statement:
“California is committed to ensuring that the men and women who have helped build our world-class economy are able to share in the state’s prosperity. Today’s action gives hardworking, fast food workers a stronger voice and a seat at the table to set fair wages and critical health and safety standards across the industry.”
Under the new law, minimum wage increases would be capped at $22 an hour for workers at chains with more than 100 restaurants. The statewide minimum wage is currently $15.50.
According to KTLA, “state and county elections officials are still verifying whether the referendum proposal received enough signatures to qualify for the ballot, a determination expected by the end of January. If that happens, the law would be halted from taking effect until voters weigh in.”
“In the meantime, the state Department of Industrial Relations said it plans to begin implementing the law on Sunday,” the report explains. “That could include clearing the way for appointments to the Fast Food Council. But any wage increases or other changes couldn’t take effect until at least October, meaning the law would have no immediate impact on worker pay.”
The International Franchise Association and the National Restaurant Association argued that the law cannot go into effect while it is still being determined if the referendum was legitimate.
“California bureaucrats, at the behest of special interests, are taking an unprecedented step to violate their Constitution and the will of more than one million voters who asked for the Fast Food Council to be stopped via the referendum process,” Matt Haller, chief executive officer and president of the International Franchise Association, said in a statement.
The next hearing regarding the lawsuit is scheduled for January 13.