A quick reminder for national Fast Food restaurants, the California minimum wage is going up to $20 per hour as of April 1, 2024.

As we wrote in our Alert back in October 2023, AB 1228 created a Fast Food Council in California, which is now part of the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR). The Council now has members and had its first meeting in March. Details about its members and that first meeting can be found here.

The DIR also published some helpful FAQs to answer some harder questions about whether AB 1228 applies to your business, as either a franchise owner, unit within a “grocery establishment,” or bakery. The FAQs also answer questions about the powers of the Council to impose further regulations on the industry or increase to the minimum wage even more.

Of note, the FAQs clarify that this new minimum wage also impacts the minimum salary level for exempt managers. FAQ 14 says: Under California law, to qualify as an “exempt employee” for wage and hour purposes, you must receive a salary of at least two times the state minimum wage for someone working 40 hours a week and meet other specific requirements.  If your salary is less than $83,200 as a fast food restaurant employee starting on April 1, 2024, you are not an exempt employee.

No fooling here — those burgers, nuggets, fries and shakes will keep getting pricier!