Should it be passed and signed into law, the FAST Act (the Fast-Food Accountability and Standards Recovery Act) heading to a final vote this month in the California state senate will wreak havoc on the fast food franchise industry in California. Having previously been approved by the Assembly, a positive vote on the legislation in the upper chamber would send it to Governor Gavin Newsom’s desk for his signature. Whether the Governor would sign the bill or not remains to be seen, but having it get to his desk would embolden similar legislative initiatives in other states. You will recall that AB 257, the FAST Act, sets aside existing labor laws in favor of a new set of rules that would be developed and enforced by a Fast-Food Sector Council consisting of 11 unelected appointees – only one of which would be a franchisee! Collectively, this “council”, operating free of meaningful oversight from the Governor or Legislature, would establish work rules, working conditions and pay rates for employees of franchised Fast-Food businesses in the Golden State. Further, it would statutorily define franchisors as joint-employers and create yet another layer of local Fast Food Sector Councils in cities with more than 200,000 residents! The bill would be a big boon for organized labor, which has been aggressively lobbying for its passage. The Employment Policies Institute has produced a detailed report that debunks much of the supposed justification for the legislation. The senate must act on the bill by August 31, just 12 days away, so we’re now down to crunch time!.