As we have advised in the past, there is a dangerous legislative proposal advancing in California, AB 257, the so-called FAST Act (the Fast-Food Accountability and Standards Recovery Act). This bill has already passed the Assembly and is currently pending in the State Senate, where it will likely have an easier time winning support. As to the particulars, the bill sets aside existing labor laws in favor of a new set of rules that will 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”, effectively free of meaningful oversight from the Governor or Legislature, will have the power to establish work rules, working conditions and pay rates for employees of franchised Fast-Food businesses in California. Further, it statutorily defines franchisors as joint-employers and creates yet another layer of local Fast Food Sector Councils in cities with more than 200,000 residents! DDIFO advisors have examined this bill early from multiple angles and all report it will be disastrous if enacted into law – and, it is likely other states would look to replicate it, so even if you do not operate a franchise in California, this bell may also toll for you soon enough!. Consequently, we believe it may be most productive to contact Governor Gavin Newsom (who is a businessman and has operated restaurants and wineries in the past) about the bill directly – and early. The bill will not likely get to his desk until April or May, but reaching out to him now may be helpful before a crowd of letters on other legislation reaches his office. You can write the Governor directly on the issue via his email template at govapps.cov.ca.gov/gov40/mail and selecting “Legislative Issues/Concerns” in the subject dropdown box. You can also write directly to him at: Governor Gavin Newsom, 1021 O Street, Suite 9000, Sacramento, CA 95814.