On January 24, 2023, the California Secretary of State completed its verification process and qualified a referendum challenging Assembly Bill (AB) 257, also known as the FAST Recovery Act for the November 2024 ballot. In the meantime, the law will not take effect unless it is approved by voters in the November 2024 election.
Governor Newsom signed AB 257 into law in September 2022. If it ultimately goes into effect, it will establish a Fast Food Council comprising fast food employees, worker advocates, franchisors, franchisees, and government officials within the Department of Industrial Relations that will set industry-wide standards for wages, working hours, and other working conditions related to the health, and safety of fast food workers.
At the end of 2022, a coalition of California small business owners, restaurateurs, franchisees, and related entities filed suit to block enforcement of the law pending the Secretary of State’s determination on whether the referendum attempt would qualify. Earlier this month, the coalition was successful in obtaining a preliminary injunction against enforcement.
The FAST Recovery Act referendum will join other employment-related ballot measures in 2024, including one seeking to reform California’s Private Attorney General Act (PAGA) and another seeking to increase the state minimum wage.