Over the last decade, fast-food restaurants have proliferated in the United States, with the largest increase in Los Angeles County. Fast food is an integral part of the food sector in Los Angeles, comprising nearly 150,000 restaurant workers. This report investigates working conditions in fast food prior to the pandemic, profiles the industry’s demographics and cost to the public, and examines the impact of COVID-19 on the sector.
Restaurants & Food Services
California Workers' Rights: A Manual of Job Rights, Protections and Remedies
A new report by UCLA and UC Berkeley finds that working conditions in the Los Angeles fast-food industry lead to an increased risk of COVID-19 transmission in communities of color as well as high public costs.
This report examines trends in food retail in the U.S. preceding and up through the pandemic, assessing how e-commerce is likely to affect workers in the industry in the next 5-10 years. In contrast to widespread fears that technology leads to automation-related job loss, e-commerce is creating jobs, as customers are now paying for tasks that they used to do themselves for free. But for most of these new positions, job quality is a serious concern, and the passage of Proposition 22 in California this fall exacerbates the problem.
New Report Shows E-Commerce & Food Delivery Work Growing During Recession & Unemployment, but Jobs More Precarious Than Ever
Behind the apps that consumers interact with are large workforces of low-wage workers in fulfillment centers that prepare ingredients and pack them into boxes. This new and growing group of workers, who are primarily immigrants and people of color, has remained invisible in the narrative of how meal-kits are “disrupting” the food industry.
New UC Berkeley report looking at job quality in a meal-kit fulfillment center finds workers struggling with low wages, unpredictable schedules, workplace-related injuries, and sexual assault.
Shelved: How Wages and Working Conditions for California’s Food Retail Workers have Declined as the Industry has Thrived
This report is based on worker surveys, in-depth interviews with workers and employers, analysis of industry and government data, and reviews of existing academic literature. It represents the most comprehensive analysis ever conducted of California’s food retail industry.
Medicaid, the Earned Income Tax Credit and the other public benefits programs discussed in this report provide a vital support system for millions of Americans working in the United States’ service industries, including fast food. We analyze public program utilization by working families and estimate total average annual public benefit expenditures on the families of front-line fast-food workers for the years 2007–2011.