UPDATE – Dec. 30, 3:05 p.m.

The Save Local Restaurants campaign said Friday that a Sacramento court had granted their request to prevent the California Department of Industrial Relations from implementing the law until the court has “the chance to hear the merits of the case.”

The hearing is scheduled for Jan. 13.

Original:

(KTXL) — Organizers for a campaign to stop a law affecting fast-food chain restaurants have filed a lawsuit to prevent the state from implementing the law while the group goes through the process to get a referendum added to the Nov. 2024 ballot.

The FAST Act, signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom on Labor Day earlier and originally slated to go into effect Jan. 1 2023, would create a 10-member council that would oversee working conditions for employees in the fast food industry.

The Save Local Restaurants campaign, financed by fast food companies such as Mcdonald’s and Starbucks and their franchisees, started gathering signatures in September as part of California’s ballot initiative process and submitted more than 1,000,000 signatures to the Secretary of State earlier this month.

Those signatures are now being reviewed but the verification process is likely to last into January but could go on as long as early March.

Campaign organizers said the California Department of Industrial Relations told them it would move forward with the creation of the fast food council in the new year but would put implementation on hold should the referendum successfully qualify for the ballot.

In response, Save Local Restaurants announced Thursday that it would file a lawsuit to stop the state from beginning to implement the FAST Act.

The campaign said the law would be harmful to California businesses and consumers.

“Over one million Californians have made clear they want their say on this flawed measure, which would raise food prices and cost their communities needed jobs,” the campaign said in a press release.

“The Save Local Restaurants coalition will not stop working to protect the small business franchisees, restaurant operators, workers, and customers of these community establishments despite this flagrant attack on the rights of California voters.”

The Service Employees International Union, which represents many fast-food employees, said the law is important for protecting workers.

“With AB 257, fast-food workers won a landmark victory for working people everywhere. Led by Black and Latino workers, cooks and cashiers have put their livelihoods on the line in their fight for a voice on the job,” President of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Mary Kay Henry said.

“This landmark law protects and empowers over 500,000 fast-food workers and makes historic progress towards reducing racial and income inequality in California. Still, fast-food corporations refuse to respect the law and come to the table,” Henry continued.