Fast Food Accountability and Standards Recovery Act


Advocates are seen showing support for AB257 (Credit to KQED)

Adam Quintero

Governor of California, Gavin Newsom revealed on Labor Day 2022 that he signed Assembly Bill 257, the Fast Food Accountability and Standards Recovery Act. This bill is expected to create a fast food council and include a number of benefits such as better working conditions, security, discrimination & harassment protection, along with possibly raising the fast food minimum wage to $22 an hour. 

The creation of the Fast Food Council will work on setting minimum and maximum hours while respecting the minimum wage and improving work conditions. This council will unionize fast food employees, making California the first state in the country to do so. A lot of students have jobs, most being in fast-food restaurants. The creation of the union can finally give the unheard voices an opportunity to share their thoughts and make changes.


MSNBC says, “franchise owners must prioritize the business itself, leaving limited resources to pay the workers,” which makes many people believe that fast food workers are severely underpaid, considering the circumstances and the amount of stress a fast food job can give. 

Senior Rylan Smith shares, “Working in fast food can be stressful, especially when it’s busy. It can also affect you mentally and physically, with rude or disrespectful customers and having to stand in uncomfortable non-slip shoes.”

An analysis by UC Berkley articulates that during the 2020 pandemic, fast-food companies opted to stay open for fear of losing money. By state guidelines, these workers were forced to wear masks and gloves but some were not provided enough or none at all, according to the UCLA Labor Center. Workers had to risk their health daily for money as most fast food workers live paycheck to paycheck. 

Senior Isidro Alviar shares, “Fast food is a good job for teenagers still in high school or young adults but it is not a good enough job to make a living off of since they’re paid so low for the amount of work they do.”

Many disagree with this bill because it may or may not affect the economy. An analysis by UCR explains, “If limited-service restaurant worker compensation increases by 60%, limited-service restaurant prices would increase between 20% and 22%”. The average hamburger price in California is $2.58, with the price bumping to $3.09 after the 20% increase. Residents also believe it would ruin fast food businesses because they have to pay workers more while losing customers due to price increases. 

Many of these workers have been and still are oppressed in many ways like wage thefts and verbal abuse within their workplace and this bill could help fight back against it. Gov. Gavin Newsom shares, “Today’s action gives hard-working fast-food workers a stronger voice and seat at the table to set fair wages and critical health and safety standards across the industry.”, according to The Fast Food Accountability and Standards Recovery Act can significantly help the well over 550,000 fast-food workers with these changes.