Getting Rich Off Minimum Wage


Natalie Waters

AB 257: McDonald’s advertises the raise of minimum wages at their location in Yorba Linda, California.

Natalie Waters, Photojournalist

In recent weeks, there have been many discussions regarding a new California Labor Law: AB 257. Also known as the Fast Food Accountability and Standards Recovery Act, Act AB 257 could raise the minimum wage for franchise and chain restaurant workers to $22 per hour. California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Act AB 257 into law on September 5, 2022.

It is in the economy’s best interest for the minimum wage to increase.”

— Danielle Grimes

Inflation has been an issue since the concept of money was introduced, but in recent times, inflation has taken a larger toll on the economy than ever before. People all over the world have been watching the prices of everyday items skyrocket. As a result, citizens of every country have been struggling to afford certain necessities for themselves and their families. The increase in prices over the past few months is causing millions to suffer, so Act AB 257 has put a new spark of hope into these workers’ hearts. Danielle Grimes (12), a current student at Yorba Linda High School, and an employee at a local McDonald’s expresses her opinions about Act AB 257. In her experience, “the prices of buying homes, attending college, and generally living in California are so high. It is in the economy’s best interest for the minimum wage to increase.” Danielle is excited about this new Labor Law since it will help her pay for college and will set her up for success in the future, along with millions of others. She believes that the raise in the minimum wage will “be a great benefit for everyone.”

The current California state minimum wage for businesses with 26 workers or more is $15. Clearly, $22 per hour is a significant leap from $15 per hour, so many are curious as to how this new act could affect franchise and chain restaurants. Not only are workers suffering from the current inflation, but businesses are also struggling to keep up with their necessary purchases. Act AB 257 is a kick to the business industry while the industry is already down. The new California Labor Law will cause businesses to suffer, resulting in layoffs and closings of popular chain restaurants like McDonald’s and Starbucks.

According to Governor Newsom’s official website, Newsom claims that the main reason for Act AB 257 is that it “gives hardworking fast-food workers a stronger voice and seat at the table to set fair wages and critical health and safety standards” within the fast-food working industry. Many people have shown gratitude toward Newsoms decision to sign this act, however, many have also shown opposition. As reported in “Today”, International Franchise Association President and CEO Matt Haller explains that restaurants are “either not going to be able to [afford the act] and it’ll push them out of business, or they’re going to pass those costs along to the consumer.”

This new California Labor Law will go down in American History, as the minimum wage in California has never been above $20 per hour for fast-food workers. The effects of the Fast Food Accountability and Standards Recovery Act will become apparent within the next few months. Many are relieved by this action, as it helps workers to support themselves and their families. Others are reluctant to trust Newsom’s decision in signing this action since it is to be believed that it could hurt restaurants and increase the price they present to their consumers.