California Expands Exemptions to Fast Food Worker Minimum Wage

By Jana Bjorklund, GovDocs Senior Counsel and
Director, Employment Law and Compliance
Published April 2, 2024

Exemptions to California Minimum Wage for Fast Food Workers

The amended law took effect on March 25, 2024.

California Fast Food Worker Minimum Wage in 2024

Beginning April 1, 2024, fast food workers in California must be paid $20.00 per hour under AB 1228, which was passed last year. The initial law only exempted certain bakeries and restaurants in grocery establishments. 

New Exemptions 

Last week, the California legislature passed and Governor Newsom signed into law AB 610. This law amended the fast food worker minimum wage law and expanded the exemptions for certain fast food restaurants. Under the amended law, the following restaurants are exempt from the fast food worker minimum wage law: 

  • Restaurants in airports, hotels, event centers, theme parks, public or private museums, and gambling establishments 
  • Restaurants in a building, group of buildings, or campus used for office purposes primarily or exclusively by a single, for-profit corporation 
  • Restaurants that are part of a concession or food service contract covering the building, group of buildings, or campus 
  • Restaurants located on land owned by the state, city or county, or other political subdivision of the state, that is part of a port district or managed by port authority, a public beach, public pier, state park, municipal or regional park or historic district and operated under a concession agreement or food service contract 

Law Takes Effect Immediately 

The amended law took effect immediately on March 25, 2024. Any restaurants within the above descriptions are exempt from the fast food worker minimum wage law. This is just one of a myriad of minimum wage laws in California that employers need to track, which is why access to a robust minimum wage management solution can help simplify compliance management for employers. 

This Employment Law News blog is intended for market awareness only, it is not to be used for legal advice or counsel.

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