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Is the truce over $20-minimum wage for fast food workers unraveling?

A past fast food workers protest in Oakland
Steve Rhodes
Flickr / Creative Commons
A past fast food workers protest in Oakland

One of workers' biggest wins in the Legislature during "hot labor summer," the agreement in the session's final week resulted in a minimum wage hike for employees and some guarantees for companies. In exchange, the industry agreed to stop fighting the issue at the ballot box and lawmakers backed off on even stricter regulations.

As the Legislature pushes through a bill exempting fast food restaurants in airports, hotels and convention centers, CalMatters reportsRepublican lawmakers who had vehemently pushed back on the wage hike are calling for the deal to be investigated. This happened after Bloomberg reported that Gov. Gavin Newsom pushed for a bakery exemption that benefited a donor who owns two dozen Panera locations in California.

Last Thursday, Newsom's office denied the story and said their lawyers believe Panera and other chain bakeries aren't actually exempt -- a decision that could lead numerous additional businesses to scramble to prepare for a wage hike.

In a Bloomberg story Friday, billionaire Greg Flynn says he did not seek a special exemption, though he met with the governor's staff along with other restaurant owners to suggest a carve-out for "fast casual" restaurants.

On Saturday, the California Restaurant Association weighed in, saying there was never any discussion of any brand seeking an exemption, including Panera. In an interview with KNBC aired Sunday, Newsom, himself, called the report "absurd."

Sunni M. Khalid is a veteran of more than 40 years in journalism, having worked in print, radio, television, and web journalism.