California union alleges that fast-food effort to block new labor law is ‘willfully misleading voters’
A coalition of public-interest organizations has filed a federal lawsuit accusing a group of California labor and public-sector groups of willfully misleading voters over its efforts to oppose a ballot initiative that would put an end to mandatory overtime pay for fast food workers.
The lawsuit, on behalf of three labor and public-sector organizations and filed Wednesday in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, says the Fast Food Forward group’s “mockery” of Proposition 47, the 2012 ballot initiative that put an end to the state’s overtime wage law, is “intentionally and explicitly” misleading voters.
“Even if one were to read the petition, the most one could glean from it is that the petition seeks to increase food stamp payments for people,” said David Black, founder and president of Fast Food Forward, in a statement sent to the Forward team. “But that’s not true, because the ballot initiative would eliminate the current system of annual wage increases for fast-food workers, which are routinely denied to many employees by their employers.”
The public-interest group, the National Employment Law Project, said its lawsuit asks that the court order the ballot-petition proponents “to issue a corrective mailer which provides voters with the information they need to support Proposition 47 and not fast-food employers.”
The Forward coalition has been an outspoken critic of Proposition 47, since its proponents failed to collect enough signatures to get the initiative on a state ballot. The group has said it is the largest organization in front of and within the fast-food industry to oppose Prop 47.
Prop 47 would erase various overtime and tipped-wage provisions in state law in the process. Under the law, those laws would no longer apply to certain employers, including employers with 20 or more employees who had a tipped wage of $2 or more per hour; employers with