SB 271 Expands Unemployment, Disability, And Family Leave Rights for Motion Picture and Television Production

SB 271 ensures that workers in the motion picture and television entertainment industry who work partially in other states will be entitled to full, instead of partial, unemployment insurance (UI), state disability insurance (SDI), and paid family leave (PFL) if they meet the other criteria for those laws.

Prior to the enactment of the law, entertainment workers (in motion pictures and television) were only given credit for the time they worked in California and not the time they worked outside of the state. In movies and television, many production assistants need to work in non-California locations to perform their craft.

In essence, production workers will no longer be penalized for working in other states. The new law recognizes the real-life changes in the film and TV era. In the past, many production workers worked for major motion picture studios on the studio’s lot. Now many film and TV projects require that motion production workers do their job in multiple state. Many of these production workers now work on short-term projects for different employers instead of for one single employer.

Additionally, the law recognizes that that movement of production workers within the industry and from location to location added to the way payroll for these workers is handled which has made it tougher to determine what the production worker’s home base of operations actually is. These difficulties can often create unfair results in determining where the worker does his/her job. The law recognizes that is easier (and just) to remove the home-base requirement for deciding UI, SDI, and PFL eligibility.

Workers will still need to show that they are a “motion picture production worker” and that there is some connection to the state such as residency in California, a base of operations for the employer in California, or that the employer controls the production from California. The law does have some additional eligibility requirements. For example, a resident of California who works on a job out of the state must “intend to return to the state to seek reemployment at the conclusion of the assignment outside the state.”

At the California Law Offices of Stephen A. Danz and Associates, we fight for workers and never employers. For nearly 40 years, we’ve been helping workers obtain the work benefits they contracted for and the benefits California and federal law permits. If you have questions about your employee rights, please call us at 877-789-9707 or fill out our online contact form to schedule an appointment to speak with one of our lawyers. We have locations throughout the state. Se habla espanol.