UCLA Labor Center

UCLA Labor Center’s Tia Koonse shares fast food research findings at AB 1228 hearing


Yesterday, UCLA Labor Center Legal and Policy Research Manager, Tia Koonse, testified at a hearing in Sacramento considering Assembly Bill 1228 (AB1228). Koonse discussed recent research findings pointing to numerous wage and overtime violations in the fast food industry and the need to hold both franchisors and franchisees accountable to improve work conditions. 

“[California] employs 550,000 fast food workers in the state, 80% are workers of color, and the majority are women. 7 in 10 fast food workers are women…,” she said. “It’s time for the franchisor to be liable.”

The measure, authored by Chris Holden (D-Pasadena), was heard in the Labor, Public Employment and Retirement Committee.

During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the UCLA Labor Center released “The Fast-Food Industry and COVID-19 in Los Angeles,” which found that working conditions in the Los Angeles fast-food industry lead to an increased risk of COVID-19 transmission in communities of color, and $1.2 billion in public costs as a result of low wages that have plagued the industry for years.

In 2022, a follow-up study, “Fast-Food Frontline: COVID-19 and Working Conditions in Los Angeles,” provided an in-depth portrait of COVID-19 safety compliance through the lens of fast-food workers themselves.