The new law establishing a fast food sector council will remain on hold until voters decide its fate in November 2024.
The Secretary of State confirmed this week that the industry challenge to the law, led by the Save Local Restaurants Coalition, had submitted enough signatures to place the referendum on the law, AB 257 (Holden; D-Pasadena; Chapter 246, Statutes of 2022), on the November 2024 ballot.
The California Department of Industrial Relations tried to put AB 257 into effect temporarily on January 1 of this year despite the pending signature verification process for the referendum, but the coalition sued to stop enforcement of the law.
The Sacramento Superior Court ruled on January 13 that there was “very little harm” to the public in delaying enforcement of AB 257 until completion of the signature verification process.
Fast Food Council
AB 257, opposed by the California Chamber of Commerce, establishes the unelected Fast Food Council with unprecedented authority to write its own labor and employment laws for fast food restaurant employees.
The Save Local Restaurants coalition is made up of small business owners, restaurateurs, franchisees, employees, consumers, and community-based organizations. The coalition effort is co-chaired by the National Restaurant Association, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the International Franchise Association.
The coalition argues that AB 257, the Fast Food Accountability and Standards Recovery Act (FAST Act) will increase the cost of food for the 70% of Californians who visit a counter-service restaurant each week and the working families who already are struggling with high gas, electricity and housing costs.
Moreover, the new government bureaucracy created by the FAST Act will cost California taxpayers millions of dollars every year. The new regulations will eliminate thousands of jobs in California and harm thousands of small, family-, minority- and woman-owned businesses across the state.