California Fast Food Workers May See Significant Wage Increases by 2024
California’s fast food and healthcare sectors could be in for a major shake-up as new legislative proposals aim to raise the minimum wage for workers in these industries. According to a report from Fox Business and Wall Street Journal, a recently revealed pact between labour unions and the restaurant sector seeks to raise the minimum hourly wage for workers at restaurant chains to $20 by April 2024. Meanwhile, another bill under consideration suggests increasing wages for healthcare workers to a minimum of $25 per hour over the next decade, excluding doctors and nurses.
Both proposals, designed to improve the livelihood of workers in these sectors, require approval from the state Legislature and Governor Gavin Newsom before becoming law. With a looming deadline of midnight Friday, the fate of these wage hikes rests in the hands of policymakers.
The impact of these potential increases on small businesses, particularly those in the fast food and healthcare sectors, cannot be ignored. California already has one of the highest minimum wages in the country, and additional raises could result in increased labour costs and necessitate adjustments to business models for small enterprises.
The significance of these wage hikes is underscored by the influence that fast-food industry workers have had on wage negotiations. Notably, the proposed legislation also introduces changes to the existing law, allowing state-appointed fast-food advisory councils to raise the minimum wage by a maximum of 3.5% annually. Similar progressive raises can be expected for healthcare workers if the proposal is successful.
However, it is important to note that the wage increases are not uniform across all healthcare workers. Employees in large healthcare facilities may see their hourly rates rise to $23 next year and $25 by 2026, while workers in rural hospitals will gradually reach a $25 minimum wage by 2033.
While these wage hikes may bring relief to numerous workers, small business owners will need to closely monitor these developments. Adjusting business strategies and planning for potential increased labour costs will be crucial in the coming months. Stay tuned as the fate of these proposals is decided in the California Legislature.