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New California law could raise fast-food minimum wage to $22 an hour

California has created a new state government body to assist workers in the fast food industry.

Governor Gavin Newsom signed a law creating the "Fast Food Council" on Monday. The group will be made up of ten industry members.

They will help decide minimum standards for pay, hours, and working conditions.

Under the legislation, the council could raise the minimum wage for fast food workers to up to $22 an hour, well above the $15 an hour in the state for employers with more than 26 workers.

The new standards apply to large restaurant chains with at least 100 locations nationally.

The restaurant industry warns it could raise prices with a McDonald's executive calling the move "lopsided, hypocritical, and ill-conceived."

The International Franchise Association (IFA) also took issue with the bill. IFA president and CEO Matthew Haller said in a statement that the bill would hurt smaller franchise operators and pointed to a study that suggested higher wages could lead to 20% increases in menu prices.

Nevertheless, dozens of advocacy groups including the Economic Policy Institute, the National Employment Law Project and One Fair Wage urged the state in January to pass the bill.

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Noelia Gonzalez

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