California’s fast-food industry is one of the largest, fastest-growing private sector employers in the state. The global fast-food corporations that operate in California make billions of dollars in profits, yet fast-food workers rank among California’s lowest paid large occupational groups. Over the course of the pandemic, fast-food workers emerged as an essential workforce, helping to feed communities and fuel local economies across the state.
According to a survey of California fast-food workers:
- 85 percent of workers surveyed have experienced at least one form of wage theft.
- 57 percent of workers have experienced multiple forms of wage theft.
- Nearly one-third of workers have been retaliated against for asking to be paid properly,taking a sick day, or asking to be paid for a sick day.
While other low-wage, high-violation industries, like garment, manufacturing, and agriculture, have seen legislation aimed at reform, fast-food has not. AB 257, the FAST Recovery Act, is landmark legislation that addresses the imbalance of power in the fast-food industry and its rampant labor violations. AB 257 would guarantee fast-food workers and fast-food franchisees a seat at the table to help shape sector-wide workplace standards and give them the ability to hold corporate franchisers accountable for providing safe and equitable working conditions.
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