In light of Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez’s resignation, today, Assemblymember Chris Holden (D-Pasadena) has taken over authorship of AB-257 Food Facilities and Employment and announced several clarifying and substantive amendments to the measure that address stakeholder concerns. California’s fast food industry employs over 557,000 Californians.
“As a former franchisee, I know that a one size fits all approach is not the correct step forward,” Holden said. “We have a chance to lift up small business owners and essential workers with AB 257, and I look forward to working with franchisors, franchisees, employee representatives, and stakeholders to create an inclusive solution to move this bill through the Legislature.”
AB 257 would resolve longstanding issues in the fast-food restaurant sector by creating a Fast-Food Sector Council that would promote industry wide collaboration and focus efforts on improving worker protections and standard operating procedures. The Council would include state agencies, employers and worker representatives to ensure an all-inclusive approach. The bill would enhance numerous local, state, and federal laws and regulations that have been instituted to require operational changes on the part of businesses to protect employees from infection since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Council must conduct research and submit a report to the Legislature outlining their recommendations.
“Fast food cooks and cashiers and local franchisees are often at the mercy of global corporations like McDonald’s. AB 257, the FAST Recovery Act, addresses this imbalance of power by bringing workers and franchisees together to raise standards and protections across the California fast food industry,” said Bob Schoonover, SEIU California President and SEIU 721 Executive Director.
“Assemblymember Chris Holden is uniquely qualified to champion this bill. He knows that frontline fast food workers are best-positioned to help propose and implement solutions to the issues they face on the job. And, as a former franchisee, he knows that local fast food operators need more power to make improvements for their workers and their businesses. We are confident that Assemblyman Holden, with the support of Assembly Members Wendy Carrillo, Evan Low and Luz Rivas will get this bill over the finish line.”