In yet another move to burden small businesses, California’s Governor Gavin Newsom announced a new law that will raise the minimum wage for fast food workers. This move comes as no surprise to many who have long known Newsom to be a fervent advocate of socialist policies that harm the economy and small businesses.
The new law will raise the minimum wage to $20 per hour for all fast food workers beginning April 1, 2024, and also require the fast food minimum wage to increase by 3.5% each following year until 2029. Despite the governor hailing the new law as an opportunity to reduce “inequity” in the fast food industry and an opportunity to “reward” workers for their “contribution” at the signing, the reality is that it will only lead to further financial hardship for small businesses.
The law only applies to fast food chains that operate on a national scale with at least 60 restaurants, and do not make bread to sell as a stand-alone item. However, this does not change the fact that businesses will have to invest significant funds to increase wages for their employees.
NEW: Fast food workers in CA will now be paid the highest minimum wage of any state in the country.
I just signed a bill that will ensure these workers receive the fair pay they deserve. https://t.co/lWbQhHKWaF
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) September 28, 2023
Not only that, but the law will establish a “fast food council” that will create “minimum standards” for wages, working hours, working conditions and employee health and safety. This is yet another layer of bureaucratic regulation that small businesses simply cannot afford.
Democratic Assemblymember Chris Holden, who authored the bill, claimed that the new law will help struggling families by enabling them to feed their children and buy birthday gifts for their grandchildren. However, this ignores the reality that small businesses will bear the brunt of the burden, struggling to meet the new wage requirements and facing the risk of having to lay off employees to compensate for the increased labor costs.
Moreover, Newsom has not yet indicated whether he will sign a similar bill to raise the minimum wage for health care workers over the next decade to $25 per hour, which can only worsen the already bloated bureaucracy in the state.
The truth is that, as usual, Newsom is furthering his leftist agenda by enacting policies that hurt the economy and small businesses. Only a truly conservative approach that values entrepreneurship and free-market principles can save California from this relentless drive towards socialism.