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Fresno State's student-run newspaper

The Collegian

Fresno State's student-run newspaper

The Collegian

The+Habit+Burger+Grill+located+inside+the+Resnick+Student+Union+at+Fresno+State.+The+employees+at+this+establishment+along+with+the+other+franchise+fast+food+restaurants+on+campus+are+now+being+paid+%26%2336%3B20+an+hour+per+AB+1228.
Jacqueline Carrillo/The Collegian
The Habit Burger Grill located inside the Resnick Student Union at Fresno State. The employees at this establishment along with the other franchise fast food restaurants on campus are now being paid $20 an hour per AB 1228.

Fast food wages

The Bucket and Toss-N-Chop employees are now making $4 less than other fast food employees on campus.

Fresno State students who work at The Habit, Subway, Taco Bell, Starbucks and Panda Express can now expect a higher paycheck.

AB 1228, the state law that will require all fast food employees to be paid a minimum of $20 an hour, went into effect on April 1.

When it was first announced in September 2023, the university was uncertain how the legislation at the time would affect Fresno State.

Lisa Bell, public information officer at Fresno State, confirmed with The Collegian on April 5 that the franchise fast food establishments would be receiving the wage increase.

“Employees at the franchise fast food establishments on campus will be compensated at the new $20 per hour rate,” Bell said.

However, employees at Toss-N-Chop, The Bucket, University Dining Hall, University Catering, Union Snack Bar and any of the Paws-N-Go locations are not subject to the wage increase.

Student workers at the franchise food establishments on campus have expressed concern about whether or not they will be receiving the wage increase.

“We haven’t been told a clear answer and then we won’t know until like our next paycheck which will be in a couple of weeks,” said Yovani Gonzalez, an employee at the Taco Bell at Fresno State.

In response to this, Nicole Lane, director of Human Resources with Auxiliary Services, said that minimum wage increases happen automatically.

“With all minimum wage increases, the rate of pay for impacted employees is automatically increased, given that it’s a wage and hour compliance item,” Lane said.

In order for restaurants to be subject to the wage increase the restaurant must belong to a chain that has at least 60 locations in the United States and have “limited or no table-service.”

It is also required that the establishment be one where customers pay upon ordering, and before receiving their food or beverages.

Locations that serve mostly drinks are also subject to this law so long as they meet the aforementioned criteria, meaning Starbucks locations in California are also required to pay a minimum wage of $20.

Starbucks workers on campus were under the impression that they would not be receiving the wage increase because it is not a corporate location.

When asked to comment on the situation, the workers said they were not allowed to accept interview requests.

According to Lane, Starbucks employees will be paid at the new rate.

“Auxiliary Services will comply with the wage requirement, given that it is one of our franchise operations,” she told The Collegian.

While franchised locations are subject to AB 1228, there are some exceptions.

For example, Panera Bread, which meets all of the previous criteria to be considered a fast food chain, is exempt from this new law. The reason for this is simply because any restaurant that bakes, or otherwise produces their own bread and sells it as a standalone product, is not considered a fast food establishment under the new law.

One other notable exception is that fast food establishments inside of grocery stores are not subject to AB 1228. Restaurants that are “connected to or operated in conjunction with” theme parks, hotels, large event centers, airports, museums and gambling establishments are also exempt.

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About the Contributors
Zachary Upchurch, Reporter
Zack is a senior and a reporter for The Collegian. Zack has been writing for The Collegian since Fall 2023 and he specializes in writing about lifestyle and sports. Zack is a digital journalism major and wants to pursue a career in sports writing.
Jazmin Alvarado
Jazmin Alvarado, News Editor
My name is Jazmin Alvarado and I am the news editor. This is my second semester with The Collegian and I specialize in news and lifestyle writing. I am an MCJ major with an emphasis in broadcast. In the future I want to be a reporter in news or lifestyle and I want to travel.
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