To make $22 an hour working in a fast food franchise restaurant, all you need to do is move to California. I’m serious. And you can thank California legislators for giving fast food workers this generous raise.
For details and more, read on.
That way you can decide if it’s worth it to move to California for a $45,000 a year job in fast food.
$22 An Hour: The Fast Food Accountability and Standards Recovery Act
That’s the name of the bill that was recently passed in California.
Here’s the part you need to know:
The council shall promulgate minimum fast food restaurant employment standards, including, as appropriate, standards on wages, working conditions, and training, as are reasonably necessary or appropriate to protect and ensure the welfare, including the physical well-being and security, of fast food restaurant workers or to otherwise meet the purposes of this section, subject to the limitations of subdivision (e). The council may also issue, amend, or repeal any other rules and regulations as necessary to carry out its duties under this section or meet the purposes of this section, subject to the limitations of subdivision (e). To the extent there is a conflict between standards, rules, or regulations issued by the council and the rules or regulations issued by another state agency, the standards, rules, or regulations issued by the council shall apply to fast food restaurant workers and fast food restaurant franchisees and franchisors, and the conflicting rules or regulations of the other state agency shall not have force or effect with respect to fast food restaurant workers, franchisees, or franchisors. Decisions by the council regarding standards, rules, and regulations shall be made by an affirmative vote of at least six of the council members. All standards, rules, and regulations by the council shall be issued, amended, or repealed, as applicable, in the manner prescribed in Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code.Courtesy of leginfo.legislature.ca.gov.
Now here’s the money part.
(2) (A) Any minimum wage established by the council shall, from January 1, 2023, to December 31, 2023, inclusive, shall not be greater than twenty-two dollars ($22) per hour. Link
There it is.
It’s an “up to” $22 per hour wage. That’s a lot of money to flip burgers, cook chicken and sweep the dining room floor.
I Support Higher Wages For Fast Food Workers
Workers at fast food franchise establishments shouldn’t be making less than $15 an hour.
Heck, nobody should be pulling in less that $15 an hour. It’s ridiculous. I said as much in this New York Times op-ed I was asked to write.
And considering how much franchises and independent food-service establishments are charging customers, there should be room to pay* workers $15 an hour.
*Not all at once. Hourly pay needs to increase gradually, so franchisees can write new business plans that reflect those wages.
But $22 an hour?
Is $22 An Hour A Good Deal For Workers?
On the surface, paying fast food franchise workers $22 per hour sounds good. Heck, it works out to $45,000 a year for a full-time worker. Not bad.
Unless you live in California. The state that just passed the bill.
That’s because the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in California is $1,854. See the data.
And according to 2020 data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis , the average cost of living in California is $46,636. Based on that number, it would cost $3,886 per month to live in California. This data includes substantially lower costs for rent and utilities.
What does it mean?
It means, even at $22 an hour, a fast food worker living in California won’t be able to make ends meet.
$22 an hour works out to $45,000 annually, or around $3700 a month.
So they’re not even breaking even.
That said, I’m betting that those workers are going to be grateful for the raise. Maybe they’ll finally have some breathing room.
Can Fast Food Restaurant Owners Afford To Pay Workers $22 An Hour?
Some probably can. I’d be willing to wager Tony can-based on what he recently did for his fast food workers.
But would it leave enough profit for him? For the franchisee?
For the person who took a risk to become a franchise business owner?
I doubt it.
But could Tony and other franchisees afford to pay workers $15 an hour?
Based on current (2022) menu prices, they should be able to pull it off.
Call Me Crazy
To summarize, you can call me crazy, but I want things to be fair for everybody.
- I want every employee in the U.S. to make at least $15 an hour.
- I want affordable products and services.
- I want franchisees and independent small business owners to make a good profit.
- I want multi-millionaires and billionaires to pay taxes.
Are those things crazy?
One more thing.
I’m not pro-union. Why?
Because there’s too much money coming in from members. That creates too much temptation. That’s when potential extortion and its close cousins, skimming and bribery appear on the scene.
And let’s not forget the potential for union executives and union bosses to grab some of the money for themselves.
So no unions for me, thank you very much.
And what do I think about the recently passed bill in California?
I’m against it.
Not because I don’t want workers to get paid fairly.
But because the numbers don’t add up.