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California raises minimum wage for fast food workers to $20 an hour

Currently, California's minimum wage for all workers is $15.50. 

Published: September 29, 2023 8:31am

California Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed into law a measure that will require most fast-food workers to be paid  a minimum $20 an hour.

The minimum-wage law is set to go into effect next year.

“That’s a romanticized version of a world that doesn’t exist,” Newsom said at the bill-signing event, according to the Associated Press. “We have the opportunity to reward that contribution, reward that sacrifice and stabilize an industry.”

Currently, California's minimum wage for all workers is $15.50. 

This new minimum wage for fast food workers will apply to restaurants with at least 60 locations, but has an exception for restaurants that make and sell their own bread, such as Panera Bread.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, California fast food workers on average make about $16.60 per hour.

“That was a tectonic plate that had to be moved,” Newsom said during the signing, in reference to negotiations to finalize the legislation. 

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