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Restaurant Group’s Lawsuit Temporarily Stops California’s New Fast Food Rules

Restaurant Group’s Lawsuit Temporarily Stops California’s New Fast Food Rules

Meanwhile, California has a plethora of other crazy new laws that take effect on New Year’s Day!

January 1st is always a crazy day in California. That is the day a suite of new rules and regulations, thrust upon the population by the super-progressive legislature and signed into law by the handsome but hapless Gov. Gavin Newsom, come into effect.

And even though voters still haven’t approved a measure regulating the fast food industry, that wasn’t stopping its implementation by the state. However, one intrepid group won a temporary restraining order to stop the state’s plan to implement measures on Jan. 1, including raising the industry’s minimum wage to $22 per hour.

Save Local Restaurants filed a lawsuit on Thursday saying California couldn’t enact AB 257, or the FAST Act, also known as Fast Food Recovery Act, as planned after the group on Dec. 5 submitted a petition signed by more than 1 million Californians to put the measure on the ballot in November 2024.

Save Local Restaurants includes International Franchise Association, the National Restaurant Association, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

The law would give an appointed 10-member state council, or “Fast Food Council,” wide-ranging authority over fast food and fast casual restaurants in California with more than 100 locations nationwide.

The council could raise the minimum wage to $22 per hour in 2023 and up to 3.5% annually after that. It could also set minimum standards for working conditions, maximum hours worked, security, and more.

Normally, a petition for a referendum would put such a law on hold. However, the California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) said it would implement the law as planned.

DIR said the law should only be put on hold once the petition signatures are verified and the ballot referendum is formally approved, which could take weeks.

“Since the inception of the right of referendum over a century ago, approximately 52 referendum measures have made it on to the statewide ballot, over 50% of which ended up repealed by voters,” said Nielsen Merksamer attorney Kurt Oneto, who helped file the lawsuit, in a statement. “Not in a single one of those prior instances did the State ever attempt to temporarily enforce the referred statute while the signature review process was underway.”

This is an important fight. The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is promoting the measure and wants to take it nationwide.

SEIU is questioning if all million signatures the Save Local Restaurants Coalition collected to block the law are valid.

Assuming the signatures are valid, the bill wouldn’t go into effect until voters have their say in November 2024 whether to adopt such a law.

If the bill passes, SEIU hopes copycat legislation will follow in other states. That would “clearly” have “anti-growth ramifications,” said Andy Barish, Jefferies analyst, in an analyst note in September.

Meanwhile, California has many other crazy new laws that take effect on New Year’s Day! None of them will enhance the quality of life for Californians, and one makes the state a “transgender youth haven.”

Minors who arrive in California to obtain transgender surgeries or other medical treatment are safe from repercussions by other states. The law blocks out-of-state subpoenas and record sharing by doctors.

It also allows judges to make child custody determinations if one parent resides in another state where custody is revoked from a California parent supporting transgender treatment.


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AF_Chief_Master_Sgt | January 2, 2023 at 7:18 am

Where goes California, so goes the nation.

Regarding fast food restaurants, I stopped going when they raised their prices so high, a McDonalds breakfast now costs more than $11.00 where I live. The convenience is no longer worth the price.

Biden’s inflationary policies, followed by extremely high minimum wage laws, has made a simple meal into an economic nightmare.

Include the stupidity of many fast food employees who can’t get an order correct, and the food is not worth the price.

    Automation of these facilities (along with job losses), here we come.

    When I started my first job out of college in 1974, I could get complete breakfast, including tip for $2.50.

    Exactly. Fast food was always about paying more to not have to deal with cooking yourself. Prices have gone up and quality has gone DOWN, and its no longer anywhere near as convenient because the employees have gotten WORSE.

    There was ALWAYS a break point for how much people are willing to pay for convenience, and California has long since blown past it.

    Not to mention the fact that almost NONE of the talentless crap they have working there is worth $15 an hour, much less $22.

    I actually live in California and I refuse to go to Popeyes anymore because TWICE it took them NEARLY THIRTY MINUTES to get FIVE CARS through their drive through (and in that time you could see nobody inside ordering and nobody went in in that time). I literally could have walked into a sitdown restaurant and gotten much better quality food in the same amount of time.

      SeiteiSouther in reply to Olinser. | January 3, 2023 at 12:16 pm

      It’s getting to the point that if you don’t have the app and utilize the deals, it’s just not worth going to these places with the prices they’re offering. Around here, a fast food meal costs around the same as going to Red Robin.

      Given the choice, I’ll go to Red Robin or cook my own food.

An inconvenient truth that Californians are about to be reminded of is that the true minimum wage has always been, is now, and shall ever be exactly and precisely zero.

Objectively, if the labor of someone working in a fast food joint was worth $22.00/hr on the open market, they wouldn’t be working in fast food.

Sadly, most are not worth what they’re being paid right now.

Expect widespread failures of long established businesses.

    The Gentle Grizzly in reply to Peter Moss. | January 2, 2023 at 8:21 am

    Another thing that will be widespread is the drop in value of franchises. Business with drop off greatly with the big price increases, and so will the value of the business itself.

      Otto Kringelein in reply to The Gentle Grizzly. | January 2, 2023 at 10:13 am

      Big price increase and staff cuts. Like McDonalds did when they increased wages to $15/hour. They installed self-order kiosks in the lobby of many of the restaurants to eliminate counter jobs and then cut the hours of the rest of the employees to compensate for the increased payroll costs.

        I would like the self-order kiosks but for one thing: if you want a non-standard order you can’t order it from a kiosk because the software was designed by idiots. You can’t order Big Mac sauce with your McDouble the last time I tried it, and you can’t order a real egg with your breakfast sandwich instead of the folded egg.

          Otto Kringelein in reply to randian. | January 2, 2023 at 3:41 pm

          You simply don’t understand the McDonalds. The whole thing was built on the, “Have it our way.” philosophy. In other words, you don’t get Big Mac sauce with a McDouble. You don’t get a “real egg” instead of a scrambled egg on your breakfast sandwich. All of that stuff costs franchisees money. So going forward it just isn’t going to happen. They can’t afford it. So those kiosks don’t give you those choices.

          The original McD’s hamburger was a patty on a bun, three pickles, ketchup & mustard. And that’s what you got. If you wanted a cheeseburger they slapped a piece of cheese on it and that was it. You got a Coke or milkshake. And that was it. No choice. And you bought it because it was fast & cheap. But that meant you didn’t get a choice. That’s for sure.

          jsolbakken in reply to randian. | January 3, 2023 at 7:03 am

          Otto is right about the whole idea for fast food was that it was fast and cheap. I was frankly surprised when I found out you could special order things. And I’m not surprised even a tiny bit that special ordering has helped ruin fast food. If you want a real egg, go to a real restaurant, not a glorified taco truck that’s nailed permanently in to the ground. I also hate the way the menus have grown and expanded to such ridiculous proportions. I’ve noticed that when there’s a delay at the drive-thru it invariably turns out to be some doofus waiting 10 minutes for their ice cream sundae or some other stupid frappe BS that should not be available at a fast food restaurant in the first place.

    Sadly, most are not worth what they’re being paid right now.
    This is what minimum wage laws do.

    Concise in reply to Peter Moss. | January 2, 2023 at 10:19 am

    Well, given that the new workers will likely have to be versed in robotics to maintain the restaurants, $22 an hour is cheap.

      Edward in reply to Concise. | January 2, 2023 at 11:57 am

      Agreed, each of the employees (manager for each location and three robotic techs per franchise to rotate availability shifts) will have to have robot maintenance training. Payment will move to card only, eliminating cashiers too.

    CommoChief in reply to Peter Moss. | January 2, 2023 at 1:06 pm

    Exactly. A minimum wage job is an entry level position for someone without the marketable skills to attract higher wages. Working the counter at a fast food joint isn’t going to pay a ‘living wage’.

    Scarcity brings higher value. There is no scarcity in the number of people capable of working at a fast food joint. While it may be true that some people disdain to work there due to an overly generous welfare state it is also true that everyone with another job can work at there.

    It amazes me that anyone refuses to grasp basic supply and demand. Each year another cohort of people reach working age to compete for no skill or low skill jobs. This doesn’t include the tens of thousands upon tens of thousands of people being inappropriately granted work visas by the Biden admin. When widespread layoffs begin to occur as the recession takes hold more workers will be available to compete for these jobs as well.

      paracelsus in reply to CommoChief. | January 2, 2023 at 1:41 pm

      we have to find a means of “earning a living wage” for the 10 million+ highly-educated “immigrants” flooding our nation’s shores (the banks of the Rio Grande) and this just might do it.

    The Gentle Grizzly in reply to Peter Moss. | January 2, 2023 at 6:18 pm

    Lots of automation to come. This means I don’t go to Micky Ds because the touch screen does NOT allow me to get mustard only in my 1/4 pounder.

      The touch screen ordering at WaWa is fantastic because it allows precisely that. It won’t let you turn one thing into another thing (a potential problem if you allow too much customization – order a hamburger and customize it to a Whopper), but it allows you to choose condiments and what sort of eggs you want on your sandwich and such.

      Jimmy Johns ‘ online ordering allows the same thing.

      It’s definitely doable. Of course, more customization means more work for the guy who codes the robot burger flipper in the near future, too. 🙂

I’m confused. Why is it OK to check signatures on petitions but not on absentee voting.

    Shh. You’ll confuse the poor, deluded leftists… more than they are already.

    Because The Left doesn’t trust The Public to Correct Think.

    Votable Petitions are a means to bypass the gatekeepers in the legislature, courts, and executive branches, so obviously any means to make them more difficult to prevent Wrong Think is justified. Including the very measures they claim to believe are racist when applied to regular voting.

    Concise in reply to LeftWingLock. | January 2, 2023 at 10:21 am

    Sounds like someone needs a time out in the re-education camp.

    TheOldZombie in reply to LeftWingLock. | January 2, 2023 at 5:41 pm

    That’s the argument the should make in front of the judges,

    Gosport in reply to LeftWingLock. | January 3, 2023 at 1:36 am

    Because of the same twisted reasoning which says it’s OK to require photo ID to apply for welfare, food stamps, Medicaid/Social Security, etc. but not to vote.

thrust upon the population by the super-progressive legislature
By the legislature they elected. The blame for this is not on the politicians, but those who elect them. (And those who commit fraud to elect some of them.)

    The Gentle Grizzly in reply to GWB. | January 2, 2023 at 10:19 am

    Slight modification: Elected by five Bay Area counties, Los Angeles County, and the Sacramento area.

    paracelsus in reply to GWB. | January 2, 2023 at 2:50 pm

    elected? elected?
    “You Keep Using That Word, I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means”
    not in California: not today

    PODKen in reply to GWB. | January 3, 2023 at 5:14 pm

    We only have crap candidates here … they all suck no matter what party they claim to represent. If only crap candidates are on the ballot only crap people get elected. It’s not all the fault of the voters.

E Howard Hunt | January 2, 2023 at 9:48 am

There must be a law against serving cold fries in order to cut down on mass shootings. Call it the RESPECT law.

This bill should have been called the Automatic Order Kiosk full employment act?

Meanwhile here in Alabama Constitutional Carry went into effect among other things that are markedly opposite of the trends in CA.

“It also allows judges to make child custody determinations if one parent resides in another state where custody is revoked from a California parent supporting transgender treatment.”

This has to be a mis-statement of the law. We’ve been assured the California courts will honor custody arrangements ordered by courts in other states, but this sounds like they’ll be rewriting custody orders to permit mutilations.

    henrybowman in reply to Crawford. | January 2, 2023 at 1:02 pm

    Uh huh. We were also assured in another article that this can’t be true:

    “Minors who arrive in California to obtain transgender surgeries or other medical treatment are safe from repercussions by other states. The law blocks out-of-state subpoenas and record sharing by doctors.”

    Apparently, all Mommy has to do is play a game of “let’s not tell Daddy,” and the Texas establishment receives no notification at all that any choppery has occurred.

    Or to be more devious, Mommy arranges things so that she temporarily loses custody of her child, then has some friendly judge who isn’t subject to the Texas order “make the decision for her.”

      CommoChief in reply to henrybowman. | January 2, 2023 at 2:59 pm

      The real tragedy lies with divorce and child custody laws that are well past antiquated. The proper perspective for every divorce should be each party retains what they brought or contributed. The baseline presumption for child custody should be 50/50 custody. Then if either party can prove A reason(s) for deviation they have an opportunity to do so. Unfortunately despite the claims of equality under the law there is true injustice practiced every day in our family court system. Lots of perverse financial incentives to keep it that way as well.

        txvet2 in reply to CommoChief. | January 2, 2023 at 3:09 pm

        “”The baseline presumption for child custody should be 50/50 custody.””

        Technically correct, but you’ll never get past the prevailing sentiments that the child belongs with the mother, and all men are bastards.

“the handsome but hapless Gov. Gavin Newsom”
California’s remarkable Boy King…

“the state’s plan … raising the industry’s minimum wage to $22 per hour.”
A bunch of parasites, few of whom have ever met a payroll in their lives, telling everybody else how they need to run their businesses.

Hopefully the stay holds until the referendum vote, at least for the benefit of all the current franchise holders in CA. But you can be sure if any of them are looking to sell their businesses, the market value took a big hit with this law, too bad, you lose, I guess. This may have been the retirement plan for a couple with a few stores. Oh well. And in the interim, there will likely be no investment in new stores pending the outcome of the referendum. And owners or potential investors in similar businesses are going to be casting a wary eye on any new opportunities in California. And given that the CA electorate just re-coronated Newsom, I’d give the referendum better than half odds of upholding the new law anyway.

    henrybowman in reply to jimincalif. | January 2, 2023 at 4:11 pm

    In MBA circles, there’s a well-known story about Ray Kroc, McDonald’s CEO… that one day, he had a stunning epiphany that he was no longer running a restaurant business, he was running a real estate business, and so he changed his management model. And that day was at least a couple decades ago, so I’m sure that’s the way McD is viewing this thing in California now.

“”It also allows judges to make child custody determinations if one parent resides in another state where custody is revoked from a California parent supporting transgender treatment.””

This was the crux of my question about the Texas father whose ex-wife was determined to castrate their son. The fact that California courts have always honored out-of-state judgements doesn’t mean that they always will, and this law appears to confirm it.

The other thing raising minimum wage laws do, that I don’t see mentioned yet, is that create a lot more under the table employees. $22.00/hr to an employee is a lot more then $22.00/hr to an employer. Just starting with the “employer’s share” of social security, which is, or course, paid by the employee because the employee is getting less…but doesn’t see it reflected in the paycheck.

I know a few people in the catering business. All of their helpers are paid in cash. And 90% plus of their business is paid for by cash. On paper, they’re all just squeaking by.

Any business that is largely cash transactions I’ve been familiar with engages in tax avoidance. Not with legions of bookkeepers and accounting firms like Trump’s tax returns reflect, but by simply reporting only enough cash flow to justify their lifestyle.

All the “day workers” hanging around home improvement stores have any of their income reported? When I lived in CA one of my American born neighbors learned to send his Korean born wife to negotiate with day workers when he was doing major home and yard improvements. She got a much better deal.

Just spent $11 at a McD’s for breakfast and it will be the last time. Good on those union thugs and Progressives for driving the wages to the point that automation will take over and all those workers will be out of a job. Nice. Actually, I’m a big fan of self checkouts in WalMart and Food Lion. No surly, green haired welfare to deal with.

Suburban Farm Guy | January 3, 2023 at 9:04 am

Cheeseburger! Chip! Pepsi!