California Courier

Democrat Assemblyman Chris Holden’s New Bill “Threatens” Family Businesses, Critics Say

Holden’s controversial bill is opposed by a broad and bipartisan coalition, who say it will put control in the hands of big corporations.

Earlier this year, Assemblyman Chris Holden (D-Pasadena) introduced a bill that critics say attacks local restaurants and threatens the independence of small family businesses.

Holden, who recently announced he is leaving the California State Assembly to run against incumbent Kathryn Barger on the LA County Board of Supervisors, has strongly advocated for AB 1228 as a way to hold fast food franchisors accountable.

The bill comes with many requirements, including forcing small businesses to abide by regulations set by the national corporations that granted their franchise agreement.

The bill has attracted growing backlash from a broad coalition of advocates who say that it allows multinational corporations to “tighten the reins” on small businesses, shut down local restaurants, eliminate jobs, and incentivize frivolous lawsuits against local restaurants.

AB 1228’s proposed wording would amend the California Labor Code to “require that a fast food restaurant franchisor share with its fast food restaurant franchisee all civil legal responsibility and civil liability for the franchisee’s violations of prescribed laws and orders or their implementing rules or regulations.”

The Orange County Register, recently reported that Holden’s bill would also “create a state-run council to negotiate wages, hours and working conditions for fast-food workers in California, and establish a minimum wage with capped annual increases thereafter at restaurants with more than 100 locations nationwide.”

Critics of Holden’s bill state that AB 1228 “threatens the franchise model entirely” and “would destroy new franchising opportunities and existing licensees…could lose [their] livelihoods.” 

AB 1228 is being currently being reviewed by the California State Senate after passing the State Assembly. If passed, it will go to Governor Gavin Newsom’s desk for signature, where many expect him to sign it into law.

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