$20 Minimum Wage Kicks Off in California

$20 Minimum Wage Kicks Off in California

(RepublicanView.org) – Fast food restaurants in California must now pay most employees a minimum of $20 per hour under the state’s new minimum wage that went into effect on April 1.

The massive minimum wage increase was signed by California Democrat Governor Gavin Newsom in September 2023 after pressure from workers and their unions. They hosted several strikes across the state to demand that the state force higher pay. They said that often, employees are adults trying to support their families rather than teens entering the workforce for extra money.

However, some of the law’s supporters, including an organization representing franchise owners, are having a change of heart. They noted that California’s economy has been slowing at a pace that has already placed a burden on franchise restaurants. The Associated Press reported that Alex Johnson, who owns and operates nearly a dozen Auntie Anne’s Pretzel and Cinnabon franchises in and around San Francisco, said reduced sales have already forced him to lay off employees.

He said it would take an additional $470,000 to comply with the state’s massive increase, forcing him to raise prices by as much as 15%. He is now considering selling or closing his business as the profit margin becomes infeasible.

California’s minimum wage for fast food workers was set to $16 before the new law, which was already one of the nation’s highest. The state also had one of the country’s highest unemployment rates as of January. Employers have also expressed concern over a provision of the law that established a new government entity, the Fast Food Council, that will have the power to increase the minimum wage as much as 3.5% per year over five years.

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