CA Fast Food Workers Laid Off In Mass As New Minimum Wage Requirement Takes Effect

Source: Flickr/Gage Skidmore / CalMatters

California boasts one of the highest minimum wages in the entire country, as of April 1, 2024 that minimum wage will be raised to $20 an hour. While this may seem like good news for food industry workers, the law is actually creating chaos within the fast food industry, forcing them to hike up prices so they can afford to pay their employees wages. 

Fast Food Families 

Large chains such as McDonald’s, Popeyes, and Pizza Hut are being forced to lean on layoffs to make up for the new minimum wage.  

Source: Flickr

Pizza Hut has already set forth its plan to layoff more than 1,200 of its employees. 


McDonald’s has recently made headlines for their shocking price increases. To get a Big Mac combo nowadays you are looking at paying $18 for just one meal!

Source: Flickr

People that fall in the low income bracket have been forced to lessen their fast food intake because they can’t afford the prices. 

Minimum Wage 

The minimum wage is being raised a shocking 25%, from $16 to $20, an expense that makes things extremely difficult for many restaurants in the Golden State.

Source: Unsplash/Kenny Eliason

To make up for this, many fast food spots have to opt for a price increase on their menu items just to survive, a reality that most consumers aren’t very happy about. 

Other Chains

Other big name chains like El Pollo Loco are trying their best to automate certain jobs. They have automated their salsa-making procedures so they can reduce their overall labor costs.

Source: Flickr/Paul Sableman

All of these changes come with a huge price, and skyrocketing unemployment. 


California Governor Gavin Newsom received criticism over signing off on the minimum wage bill. Business owners, consumers, and right wing politicians all had negative things to say about the bill. 

Source: AP Photo/Seth Perlman

They all share the same opinion: at the end of the day the consumer is the one that has to pay to make up the difference. 

No One Is Safe 

2024 has proven to be an unprecedented year for the job market. With inflation surging, the economy taking a downturn, and unemployment on the rise, no one has felt safe.

Source: Civil E

From tech giants like Google and Facebook to Tesla and McDonald’s, it is apparent that no one is safe from the impending job market which has earned the name of the “doom loop”.


Newsom defends his stance on the bill, making the statement that the increase is a compromise.

Source: Wikimedia/Office of the Governor of California

Executive director of the Service Employees International Union California, Tia Orr, said the law was “a transformational step toward an economy that works for all, not just billionaires.”

Fast Food Workers

She continued by explaining that regardless of whether the minimum wage increase is at a state or federal level, layoffs are inevitible.

Source: Flickr

However, as a result of the bill, more than half a million fast food workers now have a more livable wage. 

Unemployment Rate 

As the bill goes into effect this Spring, spectators contemplate if the restaurant businesses will continue to lay off workers and increase menu prices.

Source: Business Journals

Afterall, California’s unemployment rate has already gone from 4.5% last year to 5.3% this year.

What do you think?

200 Points
Upvote Downvote
Athena Hallet

Written by Athena Hallet

Leave a Reply


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

GIPHY App Key not set. Please check settings

New Study Warns of Potential Collapse in Atlantic Ocean Current, Threatening Colder World

Restaurant Group Chairman Criticizes CA Minimum Wage Hike To $20 An Hour Warning ‘Prices Are Going To Go Up’