AB 257 Moves through Senate Committee on Labor, Public Employment and Retirement

For immediate release:

Sacramento, CA - Today, Assemblymember Chris Holden’s bill, AB-257 Food Facilities and Employment has passed the Senate Committee on Labor, Public Employment And Retirement and is headed to Senate Committee on Judiciary. AB 257 announced several clarifying and substantive amendments to the measure that address stakeholder concerns for an industry employing 557,000 Californians.

“As a former franchisee, I know with AB 257, we have a chance to lift up small business owners and essential workers out of the 2–3-year gloom of the pandemic,” said Assemblymember Chris Holden. “I look forward to working with franchisors, franchisees, employee representatives, and stakeholders to create an inclusive solution.”

AB 257 would resolve longstanding issues in the fast-food restaurant sector by creating a Fast-Food Sector Council that would promote industry wide collaboration and focus efforts on improving worker protections and standard operating procedures. This bill would also allow franchisees to file actions against a franchisor for agreements that prevent compliance with health, safety, and employment laws; and provide retaliation protections for fast food workers that file complaints in regards to, or are unwilling to work in, unsafe workplace conditions The Council would include state agencies, employers and worker representatives to ensure an all-inclusive approach. The bill would enhance numerous local, state, and federal laws and regulations that have been instituted to require operational changes on the part of businesses to protect employees from infection since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Council must first conduct research and submit a report to the Legislature outlining their recommendations. 

“Creating space in our society to allow us to live, work, and thrive is my goal. I hope my colleagues in the Legislature see the critical juncture we are in so we can do better to foster improved working environments for all Californians,” said Assemblymember Chris Holden.