California Regulation on Fast Food Establishments

A new California law increases the minimum wage for fast food workers and creates a new state entity to oversee working conditions in the fast food industry.

California AB 1228 takes effect on April 1, 2024 increasing the minimum wage for fast food workers to $20 per hour.

The new minimum wage law applies only to employees of “fast food restaurants.” To be considered a fast food restaurant, the restaurant must meet ALL of the below criteria:

  • The restaurant must be a “limited service restaurant” in California. A limited service restaurant is one that offers limited or no table service, where the customers order food or beverage items and pay for those items before the items are consumed.
  • The restaurant is part of a restaurant chain of at least 60 establishments nationwide. An establishment is a single restaurant location offering food or beverages to customers.
  • The restaurant is primarily engaged in selling food and beverages for immediate consumption.

California AB 610 sets forth the creation of the Fast Food Council, which can set the minimum wage for fast food workers and institute health, safety, and employment standards for fast food restaurants. The new law also carves out eight new exemptions from the definition of “fast food restaurant,” including restaurants in airports, hotels, event centers, theme parks, museums, and certain other locations.

Fast food restaurants covered by the new law must post new Minimum Wage or Industrial Welfare Commission Orders. Non-fast food establishments in the Mercantile & Public Housekeeping industry should consider posting new Industrial Welfare Commission Orders since text has been added regarding fast food restaurants to these notices.

Ensure compliance with all California workplace posting mandates by reviewing our California Labor Law Poster. Take advantage of our Replacement Service to receive a new poster when new employment laws such as this one require new workplace posters.

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