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News and Studies

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The fast-food model lets corporations escape liability. California might chart a new course

AB 257, a proposed law that would establish a statewide Fast Food Sector Council made up of workers, corporate representatives, franchisees and state officials that would meet every three years to negotiate industry standards on wages, work hours and other conditions for fast-food workers.

The bill would hold fast-food corporations responsible for ensuring their franchisees comply with a variety of employment and public health and safety orders, including those related to unfair business practices, employment discrimination, the California Retail Food Code, as well as new standards issued by the council. The bill would make franchisee violations of employment laws enforceable against franchiser and franchisee equally.

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State and Local Policies and Sectoral Labor Standards: From Individual Rights to Collective Power

Ken Jacobs, Rebecca Smith, and Justin McBride

UC Berkeley, Institute for Research on Labor and Employment (July 2021)

COVID-19 Hazards Among California Fast-Food Workers

Rajiv Bhatia and Martha Dina Arguello

Physicians for Social Responsibility, Los Angeles (April 2021)

Few Options, Many Risks: Low Wage Asian and Latinx Workers in the COVID-19 Pandemic

Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus and University of California, Berkeley Labor and Occupational Health Program (April 2021)


Strategies to Improve the Franchise Model: Preventing Unfair and Deceptive Franchise Practices

Report from the Office of Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (April 2021)


Wage Theft in Silicon Valley: Building Worker Powers

Michael Tayag, Ruth Silver Taube, Felwina Mondina, Katherine Nasol, and Forest Peterson

Santa Clara County Wage Theft Coalition (April 2021)


The Fast-Food Industry and COVID-19 in Los Angeles

Kuochih Huang, Ken Jacobs, Tia Koonse, Ian Eve Perry, Kevin Riley, Laura Stock and Saba Waheed

UCLA Labor Center, UC Berkeley Labor Center, UCLA Labor Occupational Health and Safety Program, and the UC Berkeley Labor Occupational Health Program (March 2021)


Excess mortality associated with the COVID-19 pandemic among Californians 18–65 years of age, by occupational sector and occupation: March through October 2020

Yea-Hung Chen, Maria Glymour, Alicia Riley, John Balmes, Kate Duchowny, Robert Harrison, Ellicott Matthay, Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo

Institute for Global Health Sciences, UC San Francisco, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, UC San Francisco, Department of Medicine, UC San Francisco (January 2021)