California’s Historic $20 Fast Food Minimum Wage Begins Monday

A landmark minimum wage affecting more than half a million low-income workers takes effect on Monday.

NPR reports:

“California fast-food workers cooking Big Macs or whipping Frappuccinos will start making a minimum wage of $20 an hour on Monday. For many, this means a 25% raise.

The new state minimum uniquely focuses on a particular segment, fast food, affecting some of the country’s biggest chains, including McDonald’s, Starbucks, Subway and Pizza Hut.

It’s a big win for cooks, cashiers and other fast-food workers – some of the lowest-paid jobs in the U.S. – whose wages have been growing at a faster clip since the pandemic, after decades of stagnation.

California is one of the country’s most expensive states; about half a million people are estimated to work in fast food here, mostly women, immigrants and people of color. Many live below the poverty line.

Sandra Jauregui from Sacramento is counting down the days to her first bigger paycheck in two weeks. After 18 years working at several Jack in the Box franchises, her pay will jump from $17.50 to $20. That means she could be bringing home another $120 each paycheck.

‘It’s super great,’ says Jauregui, 52, speaking in Spanish. ‘At the very least it’ll give me some breathing room … and make it easier to pay the rent and other bills.'”

For the rest of the story, visit NPR here.

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