Foley & Lardner LLP Associate Kaleb Berhe is featured in the Human Resources Director article, “California’s fast-food work revolution drives super-sized legislation,” for his insights into California’s new Fast Food Accountability and Standards Recovery Act (the “FAST Recovery Act”), which is expected to give unparalleled power to the more than half a million fast-food workers in the state when it goes into effect next year. For instance, it “could cause a historic jump in minimum wages that employers will have to scramble to comply within just a few months," according to Berhe.
Berhe said the law “provides a form of sectoral bargaining without requiring employees to organize and form a union. Despite being ‘cut out’ of the picture, unions have heavily backed this initiative from the start, reasoning that it provides protections to employees in an industry that has historically proven difficult for unions to reach.”
While a referendum has been filed to block the law, if it fails, Berhe says California may see future laws which will similarly create a “fast track” to sectoral bargaining for an entire industry. “This is particularly the case for other industries which have seen a decrease in union participation, such as the agriculture industry. Given the recent national attention on worker safety and health and the overall decrease in union activity in recent decades, it is likely that other progressive states will try to pass similar legislation in the coming years,” he added.