California Pizza Huts lay off all delivery drivers ahead of minimum wage increase
Pizza Hut is laying off more than 1,200 delivery drivers in California.
The layoffs, which will take place through the end of February, come as California’s minimum wage is about to go up by $4. Fast-food workers in the state are set to get a pay bump of close to 30% in April as the minimum wages rises from $16 to $20 an hour.
PacPizza, LLC, operating as Pizza Hut, said in a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act notice that the company made a business decision to eliminate first-party delivery services and, as a result, the elimination of all delivery driver positions, according to Business Insider. The notice was filed with the state’s Employment Development Department.
The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act requires employers to give notice of mass layoffs or plant closures.
Southern California Pizza Co., a second Pizza Hut franchise, is also eliminating its in-house delivery services and laying off 841 drivers, according to a WARN Act notice from Dec 1.
The layoffs impact drivers at Pizza Hut locations in Sacramento, Palm Springs, Los Angeles and other cities throughout the state.
How can California customers get Pizza Hut delivered?
Customers must use third-party apps like DoorDash, GrubHub and Uber Eats for food deliveries at the affected chain restaurants.
Pizza Hut, owned by the Taco Bell parent company Yum! Brands, told Business Insider that its “franchisees independently own and operate their restaurants in accordance with local market dynamics and comply with all federal, state, and local regulations while continuing to provide quality service and food to our customers via carryout and delivery.”
Minimum wage bump for fast-food workers
In California, nearly one million fast food and healthcare workers are set to get a major raise after a deal was announced earlier this year between labor unions and industries.
Under the bill, most of California’s fast-food workers will be paid at least $20 per hour next year. And a separate bill will increase healthcare workers’ salaries to at least $25 per hour over the next 10 years.
Chains such as Chipotle and McDonald’s said they planned to raise menu prices as a way to offset the costs of higher wages in California.
The law affects 557,000 fast-food workers at 30,000 restaurants in California.
How does minimum wage compare by state?
Twenty-two states are set to increase minimum wages at the beginning of 2024. By Jan. 1, seven states and Washington, D.C., will have minimum wages of at least $15 an hour. Maryland, New Jersey and New York are all set to increase their wages at the beginning of the new year.
Fifteen states have laws in place that make minimum wages equivalent to the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, according to the Department of Labor. Five states have no minimum wage laws: Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Tennessee.