First published in the Feb. 4 print issue of the South Pasadena Review.
On Monday, Assemblyman Chris Holden’s legislation, Assembly Bill 257 FAST Recovery Act, passed the Assembly Floor with 41 votes and is now headed to the state Senate.
If signed into law, California could lead the nation in the fight for systemic change within the fast food sector.
“Employees should not have to choose between safe working conditions and their livelihood,” Holden said. “This bill prioritizes collaboration and equity among stakeholders throughout the fast food sector, and I look forward to working with franchisors, franchisees, employee representatives, and any stakeholder who is interested in contributing 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 industrywide 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.
“This bill would make a big difference for a lot of folks out there, many of which are too afraid to use their voices because they have a lot to lose — their jobs. I commend my co-authors for standing with me today and sharing their experiences to help get this bill to the finish line,” Holden said.