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CA Fast-Food Worker Law on Hold, Paid Leave Coming to IL & More

January 27, 2023 (1 min read)

CA’s New Fast-Food Industry Law on Hold

Implementation of a landmark law passed last year in California (AB 257) aimed at improving working conditions for fast-food employees and potentially increasing their minimum wage up to $22 per hour has been put on hold, pending the outcome of a referendum on the law next year. California’s secretary of state announced last week that opponents of the law, including Chipotle, In-N-Out Burger and McDonald’s, each of which contributed $1 million toward the referendum effort, had submitted enough valid signatures to qualify a measure for the state’s 2024 general election.

The issue is following the pattern of the recent battle in the state over the employment status of gig workers. In 2019 the state’s Legislature passed a law (AB 5) requiring companies like Uber and Lyft to treat their workers as employees. The following year app-based transportation and delivery companies won overwhelming approval for a ballot initiative allowing them to continue to treat their drivers as independent contractors. (CNN BUSINESS, NEW YORK TIMES)

IL Close to Adopting Paid Leave

Illinois is on the verge of joining over a dozen states with paid leave laws. A bill (SB 208) passed by state lawmakers on the last day of their lame duck session this month and which Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) has said he will sign, would require employers in the state to grant their workers an hour of paid leave for every 40 hours they work and accrue up to five days of leave per year. The measure would go into effect in January 2024. (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, STATE NET)

Long Covid Having Lasting Impact on U.S. Workforce

In the first couple of years of the pandemic, roughly 71 percent of individuals with long Covid weren’t able to work for at least six months, according to a study published last week by the New York State Insurance Fund, the state’s largest workers’ compensation insurer. Over a year after contracting the virus, 18 percent of long haulers still hadn’t gone back to work, the study found. (NEW YORK TIMES, NEW YORK STATE INSURANCE FUND)

—Compiled by KOREY CLARK


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