The State of California has raised the minimum wage for all fast-food workers to $20 U.S. an hour, the highest level in America.
California Governor Gavin Newsom signed the legislation into law, which also gives employees a greater say in workplace standards throughout the state of 39 million people.
The legislation came about as part of a broader compromise in which labour unions agreed to drop their push to hold fast-food corporations liable for violations committed by their franchisees.
The median fast-food worker in the U.S. currently earns $13.43 U.S. an hour, while those in California made an average of $16.60 U.S. per hour before the new legislation became law, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The new minimum wage for fast food workers, which takes effect in April 2024, equates to an annual salary of $41,600 U.S.
There are more than 550,000 fast-food workers at 30,000 locations statewide in California, according to the governor’s office.
The majority of fast-food workers in California are adults and it is their primary job. Also, 80% of fast-food workers are minorities and two-thirds are women.
In addition to the higher wages, the new law in California establishes a “Fast Food Council” that will include representatives for both workers and employers.
The overall minimum wage in California remains at $15.50 U.S. an hour, among the highest of any state in America.