Skimmed & Scammed: Wage Theft From California’s Fast Food Workers

California’s fast-food industry is one of the largest, fastest growing private sector employers in the state. The global fast-food corporations that operate in California make billions of dollars in profits, yet fast-food workers rank among California’s lowest paid large occupational groups.]Over the course of the pandemic, fast-food workers emerged as an essential workforce, helping to feed communities and fuel local economies across the state.

New survey finds fast food workers – employed by some of the world’s largest, most profitable brands – face rampant wage theft by our employers.

The survey finds that the vast majority of fast-food workers have experienced wage theft. Specifically:

  • 85 percent of workers surveyed have experienced at least one form of wage theft.
  • 57 percent of workers have experienced multiple forms of wage theft.
  • Nearly one-third of workers have been retaliated against for asking to be paid properly, taking a sick day, or asking to be paid for a sick day.
Read the report

While other low-wage, high-violation industries like garment manufacturing and agriculture have seen legislation aimed at reform, fast-food has not.

AB 257, the FAST Recovery Act, is landmark legislation that addresses the imbalance of power in the fast food industry and its rampant labor violations. AB 257 would guarantee fast food workers and fast food franchisees a seat at the table to help shape sector-wide workplace standards and give them the ability to hold corporate franchisors accountable for providing safe and equitable working conditions.