1. Creation of Fast Food Council: The law establishes the Fast Food Council within the Department of Industrial Relations, comprising 11 members appointed by the Governor, Speaker of the Assembly, and Senate Rules Committee. The Council is tasked with determining minimum wages, working hours, and other conditions for fast-food restaurants.
  2. Minimum Wage Increase: Effective April 1, 2024, the minimum wage for covered fast-food businesses in California is set at $20.00 per hour. The Council has the authority to annually increase this rate by 3.5 percent or the Consumer Price Index.
  3. Impact on Exempt Employees: The new minimum wage affects the salary threshold for exempt employees, requiring a minimum salary of two times the state minimum wage for full-time employment. Covered fast-food employers must use $20 per hour for exempt employee calculations.
  4. Applicability and Exemptions: The law applies to fast-food establishments within a chain of over 60 national locations. Exemptions exist for bakeries producing stand-alone bread items. The legislation prohibits retaliation against employees participating in Council proceedings.
  5. Overtime Rates and Compliance: In 2024, the minimum overtime rate in California is set at $24 per hour (time and a half) or $32 per hour (double time) based on the state’s general minimum wage, with potential variations for fast food or health care industries. The article emphasizes the importance of accurately classifying employees as exempt or non-exempt and outlines rules for fixed salaries, exceptions, and subminimum wages.

CONCLUSION: California’s Fast Food Worker’s wage system introduces a Fast Food Council to determine minimum wages, setting it at $20 per hour for covered businesses from April 1, 2024. Exempt employee salary thresholds are affected, and the law applies to large chain establishments with exemptions for specific bakeries. Overtime rates align with the new minimum wage, emphasizing accurate employee classification. Compliance with regulations is crucial, including considerations for fixed salaries, exemptions, and subminimum wages.