On Monday of this week, the California Assembly passed AB 257, the so-called FAST Act and sent it to the Senate for its approval. Needing 41 votes to pass the Assembly where it died last session, the Fast-Food Accountability and Standards Recovery Act, prevailed on a 41-21 vote on the last day before such a “holdover bill” would have expired again for this session. The bill now goes to the Senate for its consideration. If passed by the Senate and signed by the Governor, AB 257, will create a Fast Food Sector Council consisting of 11 government-appointed members who will collectively have the power to establish work rules, working conditions and pay rates for employees of franchised businesses in the fast-food industry in California! This unelected, union-controlled council would essentially usurp every operational decision currently within the purview of a franchise owner. The legislation even goes so far as to codify joint employment status for every fast-food franchisor as relates employment, worker and public health and safety laws, employment discrimination and a host of other potential violations. If that all weren’t bad enough, the FAST Act establishes just cause termination parameters with a rebuttable presumption of retaliation! It is imperative that AB 257 is ultimately defeated in the California State Senate!