California Gov. Newsom Raises Minimum Wage for Fast Food Workers to $20 Per Hour

California Governor Gavin Newsom has signed a law raising the minimum wage for fast food workers to $20 per hour.

The law will go into effect in April, giving fast food workers in the state one of the highest minimum wages in the entire nation.

During the bill signing on Thursday, Newsom said that the law will impact 557,000 people and 30,000 restaurant locations statewide.

“Eighty percent of the workforce, these fast food places – 80 percent of people of color, two thirds…are women, the majority are breadwinners and we have the opportunity to reward that contribution, reward that sacrifice and stabilize an industry in turn. What a remarkable moment,” Newsom said.

The current minimum wage in the state, across most industries, is $15.50 an hour. That will be going up to $16 on Jan. 1, 2021.

According to a report from The Hill, “Prior to this bill, fast food workers were making an average hourly mean wage of $16.60, equaling around $34,530, according to data by the U.S. Census Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is lower than the California poverty line, which is around $36,900 for a family of four, according to a study from the Public Policy Institute of California and Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality.”

“Despite this, California’s fast food worker average wage was still around $3 higher than the national average of $13.53 for fast food workers,” the report added.

In addition to boosting wages, the law also creates a “fast food council,” which will have the ability to boost the minimum wage each year until 2029. The raises will be 3.5 percent, or “the change in averages for the U.S. Consumer Price Index for urban wage earners and clerical workers, whichever is lower.”

Newsom is widely speculated to have presidential aspirations but has claimed he will not run as long as Joe Biden is still in the race.


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