California Governor Signs Bill Expanding Unemployment Benefits For Film Workers Whose Jobs Take Them Out Of State

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Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed a bill that expands unemployment benefits for California film crews whose jobs here take them to other states.

SB 271, which takes effect in January, also expands state disability insurance and family leave benefits for film and TV workers whose jobs here take them out of state. The new law was co-sponsored by the California IATSE Council and the Entertainment Union Coalition.

SB 271 resolves a long-standing problem specific to residents of California who work in the motion picture and television industry on productions that shoot here and in other states. Here is the co-sponsors’ statement on the legislation’s approval:

“Up until now, outdated metrics implemented in the 1950s were used to determine where their employment taxes would be credited. Often that was to other states. When it came time to claim their benefits, many California entertainment industry workers found their benefits were far lower than they should have been and, in some cases, nonexistent. SB 271 resolves this problem and will bring financial and emotional relief to the thousands of California based entertainment industry workers who need and deserve the benefits to which they are entitled.

“On behalf of the California IATSE Council and the Entertainment Union Coalition, we want to express our appreciation to Senator Scott Wiener for his leadership in guiding SB 271 through the legislative process, to Governor Newsom for signing the bill into law, to our 12 co-authors, and to the members of the California Legislature for their unanimous support,” the co-sponsors said in a statement. “SB 271 ensures that the working women and men of the entertainment industry will have access to the UI, SDI, and PFL benefits to which they are entitled. We can now protect thousands of our members and their families who depend upon these benefit programs, often in times of great need and economic stress because they are unexpectedly or suddenly out of work, disabled as a result of an injury or illness, or are responsible for the care of family members.”

The California IATSE Council represents more than 50,000 IATSE members from 17 locals who work throughout the state of California. The Entertainment Union Coalition has a combined membership of close to 150,000 members in California. Its members include the California IATSE Council, Laborers Local 724, SAG-AFTRA, and Hollywood Teamsters Local 399.

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